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The Trattato as Textbook: Francesco di Giorgio’s Vision for the Renaissance Architect

Author(s): Elizabeth Mays Merrill

Journal: Architectural Histories
ISSN 2050-5833

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: Art. 20;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Francesco di Giorgio | treatise | professional | architecture | Trattato di Architettura | Leon Battista Alberti | Baldassare Peruzzi | Pietro Cataneo

In fifteenth-century Italy, the architect’s role lacked definition. The classical conception of the architect — the distinguished professional lauded by Vitruvius and Cicero, as theoretically versed as he was technically skilled — had faded in the medieval period. Even the term 'architectus', with its powerful connotations of creation and authorship, had fallen out of use (Kostof 1977: 60–61). Furthermore, there was no standard of training or apprenticeship for the architect. Depending on the context, the engineer, carpenter, patron, or building administrator might be considered the building’s architect (Hollingsworth 1984: 385–410). On the role of the architect in the Italian Renaissance and the development of an architectural profession, see Ackerman 1991, Ettlinger 1977, and Wilkinson 1977. But beginning around 1400, numerous artists, scholars, and patrons began to express the need for an established architectural profession.

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