It is a rash enterprise to write a book on Leon Baptista Alberti. It requires a multiplicity of competences—literary, philological, scientific, philosophical, legal, historical, and artistic—rarely found in any one person. All those who will find shortcomings and feel disposed to censure me I beg for understanding and, where indicated, for constructive help.
This book would have been impossible to complete had it not been for a Chester Dale Fellowship from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (1985) and a postdoctoral grant from the J. Paul Getty Center for the History of Art and Humanities (1986). I would like to thank David Friedman, Stanford Anderson, Henry Millon, and especially Kurt Forster for their unflinching support. I would also like to thank Maria Frank and John Lawless for their corrections and contributions to the Italian and Latin translations.