Leon Battista Alberti—The Universal Man
"Beauty is the adjustment of all parts proportionately so that one cannot add or subtract or change without impairing the harmony of the whole." —Leone Battista Alberti
600 years after his death and Alberti is still regarded as "L'uomo Universale", the quintessential Renaissance man. And he was. His life and immense talents encompassed a wide range of activities, with Alberti making significant contributions across a range of fields and studies. These include fine-art, music, architecture, cartography, poetry, mathematics, philosophy, playwriting, cryptology and more.
Alberti truly lived by his own motto that "A Man can do All Things if He Will". His creativity and intellectual brilliance brought about many lasting, positive changes that continue to influence how we think about and value all facets of intellectual contributions to civic society.
As a prime mover of the Renaissance, it's hard to isolate Alberti's most significant works but Professor Pier Vittorio Aureli does an excellent job reviewing some of the highlights, particularly as they concern Alberti's philosophy of and work within the field of architecture. The lecture linked here was filmed in 2012 at the London Architectural Association School of Architecture. It's a significant treat for English speakers since so much of the scholarship and overview of Alberti is in Italian.