University of Chicago Library

Guide to Alberti, Leon Battista, De re aedificatoria. Manuscript, circa 1485

© 2016 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Alberti, Leon Battista, De re aedificatoria. Manuscript (Ms 1)


circa 1485

Manuscript Number:

Codex Ms 1


1 volume; 30 x 21 cm.


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Treatise on architecture. Text in Latin. Codex Ms 1.

Information on Use


The manuscript is open for research.

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When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Alberti, Leon Battista, De re aedificatoria. Manuscript, Codex Ms 1, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Scope Note

Combining scholarly knowledge of ancient sources and models and an innovative architectural technique, Alberti's treatise on architecture was composed in 1452. De re aedificatoria provided the Renaissance with an organized program for architectural design. By using new mathematical techniques and relationships found in musical harmony, Alberti achieved a balanced proportion which was emulated throughout the Renaissance.

The Chicago manuscript, which originated in Sicilian Italy during the last quarter of the fifteenth century, was probably produced by a large scriptorium, since as many as ten scribes collaborated on it. Large blue Roman initials were intended to mark the beginning of each section, but after the Introduction and Book I, the initials have not been painted in.

This work has been rebound and binding fragments retained. See the Special Collections circulation desk for additional information.

Additional description

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Volume 1

Codex Ms 1

View cover (front)-fol. 26v.

View fols. 27r-59v.

View fols. 60r-92v.

View fols. 93r-125v.

View fols. 126r-158v.

View fols. 159r-191v.

View fols. 192r-224v.

View fols. 225r-257v.

View fols. 258r-cover (back.)

View original binding.