Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
On Painting (Classics S) has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

On Painting (Classics S) Paperback – July 2, 1991

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Facsimile
"Please retry"
$35.37
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.64
$4.39 $0.01

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$14.64 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • On Painting (Classics S)
  • +
  • Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style (Oxford Paperbacks)
  • +
  • The Lives of the Artists (Oxford World's Classics)
Total price: $42.37
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Latin (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Alberti's Della Pittura was the first modern analytical study of painting, a pioneering treatise on the theory of art. A systematic description of the one-point perspective construction, it was primarily designed to persuade both patron and painter in the Renaissance to discard the old tastes in painting for the new. In his prologue, Alberti states that his work consists of three books: 'the first, all mathematics, concerning the roots in nature which are the source of this delightful and most noble art. The second book puts the art in the hand of the artist, distinguishing its parts and demonstrating all. The third introduces the artist to the means and the end, the ability and desire of acquiring perfect skill and knowledge in painting.' --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Classics S
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (July 2, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140433317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140433319
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. South on November 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Alberti is one of the more readable of the 'classic' authors on Art, much less prone to gossip than Vasari and less convoluted than Cennini. That said, some of the text on geometry in book one can be a bit difficult to follow. Alberti also loves to name-drop, continually referring to antique painters, but this was expected at the time - the ancients lending authority and historical context. 'On Painting' gives the reader an insight into the tastes and philosophies that inform the arts.

Most interesting to me, as a teacher of drawing, were the insights on the fundamentals of life drawing - such as positioning of the head relative to the feet, and the shifting of values becuase of the limitations of white paper (or paint) being the brightest 'light' available to the artist. the saying 'there is nothing new under the sun' comes often to mind - you will read many of Alberti's observations in any contemporary text.

Much of this may seem irrelevant to the modern painter - for example, his comments on consistency in portrayal of the figure may have been more relevant in an age when lay figures were used and painting took hours, but nonetheless bring up key points for the thoughtful artist to consider, especially for those interested in traditional painting. Use this book in conjunction with a good pictorial survey of art history (or the internet), so that you can readily refer to the pictures he mentions.

For more of my reviews and links on Old Master Drawings, visit [...]
Comment 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
as is apparent from the other Amazon reviews. You would not read a medical treatise, or a treatise on physics written 600 years ago, unless you were interested in the crazy-strange ideas entertained by our scientific forebears, and wondered just how we ever got from there to here--but every one of the reviewers here treats this pioneering treatise on the art of painting as if it were a valid (if occasionally heavy-going) alternative to current writings on picture-making!Read more ›
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Originally titled De pictura in Tuscan and published in 1435. This edition is a reprint of an edition published by Phaidon Press in 1972, translated by Cecil Grayson, with an introduction and notes by Martin Kemp. Reprinted with copious bibliographic notes with a revised further reading in 2004. I had this book for a Renaissance Florence history class, along with many other works on art, architecture, politics, commerce, and so forth. Though a short important book, I don't find it all that memorable. While I appreciate it as a seminal book in the historiography of literature, as a book that changed the world, it is not a subject of interest. One needs a comprehension of geometry to understand this book, something I lack. It is not a book I would have picked out myself. He occasionally uses mathematical terms that I don't know, such as Superbipartiens, for example. This book is described by Martin Kemp as embodying the twin aspirations of retrospective emulation and progression innovation (p. 19). It has three sections: rudiments, practice, and ends. Alberti used Classical Roman references in his work to support his arguments, especially Pliny's Natural History. So. like all the Humanists of his time, he relied on Classical writers and artists as models to emulate. The present edition includes comments on the translation by Grayson, as well as two dedications by Alberti. One to Filippo Brunelleschi, the other to Giovan Francesco, Prince of Mantua. Alberti says he divided the work into three parts. Part one is entirely mathematical, showing how art arises from roots with Nature itself. The second part puts art in the hands of artists, distinguishes its parts and explains them all.Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Considering that the text was written 600+ years ago, it is quite interesting when you think about how some of the concepts mentioned now have scientific backing and is accurate to a certain degree. Only downside is that it can be very hard to understand at times especially when Alberti talks about perspective problems. Overall an okay book for most part, but probably not something I would read for fun.
1 Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

On Painting (Classics S)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: On Painting (Classics S)