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On Statuary

followed by The Autobiography of Alberti

On Statuary

followed by The Autobiography of Alberti

Celebrated humanist of the Italian Renaissance, author of De pictura and De re aedificatoria which became reference works for the History of the Arts, an accomplished Mathematician and Geometrist, witness and stakeholder of the debates on perspective and natural vision, Leon Battista Alberti is also the author of De statua. Since 1869, date of the unique and inaccurate French translation of the work, this important text, presented here in a critical bilingual edition, remained unpublished – just like La Vie d’Alberti par lui-même that we are publishing for the first time, with a few letters.
Throughout the book, the portrait of one of the illustrious artists and thinkers of the Renaissance according to Vasari, a universal man that Burckhardt considered to be an exemplary figure of the great personalities of the History of the West, is more precise and more endearing. The De statua, between antique statuary and modern sculpture, both theoretical and technical text, became a decisive influence in current thinking on sculpture, its definition and its functions.


Born in 1943 in Lucerne (Switzerland), Oskar Bätschmann, Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at the University of Bern, taught at the Swiss Institute for the Study of Art in Zurich. He is a member of the Swiss Academy of Human and Social Sciences and the Academia Europaea in London. He was a member of the Scientific Council of major institutions in France and in Italy (INHA in Paris and the Max-Planck Institute for the History of Art in Rome and in Florence). It is to him that we owe the publication of many of the writings of Alberti (De statua, De pictura, Elementa picturae, 2000, and Della pittura, 2002). He also published in particular, Poussin, dialectiques de la peinture [Poussin, a dialectic of painting] (Flammarion, 1994, repr. 2010) and Hans Holbein (Gallimard, 1997).

A former student of the École Normale Supérieure (in Ulm), Alumnus in Philosophy, Dan Arbib is currently writing a thesis on the concept of the infinite by Descartes and the medievals under the direction of Jean-Luc Marion. He is currently a resident of the Thiers Foundation (CNRS), scientific secretary of the Bulletin cartésien and Member of the Editorial Committee of the Œuvres d’Emmanuel Levinas (Grasset / Imec); he notably directed the volume “Actualité de l’infinité divine aux XIIIe-XIVe siècles” [The reality of divine infinity in the 13th-14th centuries] in Études philosophiques (PUF, 2009/4).

Qualified in History, Aude-Marie Certin teaches Medieval History at the Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7. A doctoral student at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), she is currently writing, under the direction of Pierre Monnet and Jean-Claude Schmitt, a thesis on family memory from the family books and autobiographies of southern Germany (end of the 14th – mid-16th centuries).


  • Format: 19 x 20 cm
  • No. of pages : 204
  • 16 black and white illustrations
  • ISBN-978-2-7288-0450-4
  • €24.40