The career of Leon Battista Alberti (1404‒72) is exceptional among the artists of the era, as he approached the practice of architecture from his Humanist studies rather than craftmanship. While his literary oeuvre on a wide array of topics in Latin and Vulgar Latin is also remarkable, his fame is mostly due to the interest in architecture theory he took up in the 1430s when he came upon the ruins of Ancient Rome and wrote a short description of them. His work On Architecture, together with Averulino’s tractate, is the most significant theorical work of the century. It was so highly esteemed in Buda, that two copies have been preserved of it.
The beautiful title-page of this copy, today belonging to collections of Modena, represents King Matthias’s political power in the last years of his life with the row of coats of arms within the border decoration. The illumination was made in Buda by the “First Heraldic Painter”. (Ferenc Földesi)