Humanities › History & Culture Who Was Leon Battista Alberti? A True Renaissance Man Share Flipboard Email Print Italian poet, architect, musician, philosopher, painter and sculptor Leon Battista Alberti (1404 - 1472), posing with a pair of compasses, circa 1460. Hulton Archive/Getty Images History & Culture Medieval & Renaissance History People & Events Daily Life American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Melissa Snell History Expert B.A., History, University of Texas at Austin Melissa Snell is a historical researcher and writer specializing in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. She authored the forward for "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Crusades." our editorial process Melissa Snell Updated February 06, 2019 Leon Battista Alberti was also known as Battista Alberti, Leo Battista Alberti, Leone Battista Alberti. He was a humanist philosopher, writer, Renaissance architect, and art theorist. He was also known for pursuing philosophical, artistic, mathematics, scientific and athletic endeavors, making him one of the most well-rounded thinkers of his age. Leon Battista Alberti is considered by many scholars to be a quintessential Renaissance "universal man" of learning. In addition to painting, designing buildings, and writing scientific, artistic and philosophical treatises, Leon Battista Alberti wrote the first book on Italian grammar and groundbreaking work on cryptography. He is credited with inventing the cypher wheel, and it was said that from a standing position, with his feet together, Leon Battista Alberti could jump over a man's head. Occupations Artist & ArchitectClericPhilosopherEngineer & MathematicianWriter Places of Residence and Influence Italy Important Dates Born: Feb. 14, 1404, GenoaDied: April 25, 1472, Rome Quotation From Leon Battista Alberti "I certainly consider a great appreciation of painting to be the best indication of a most perfect mind.""I will never tire of recommending the custom, practiced by the best architects, of preparing not only drawings and sketches, but also models of wood or any other material. These... enable us to examine... the work as a whole... and, before continuing any further, to estimate the likely trouble and expense."