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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262122047 | 340 pp. | 8 x 11 in | July 1997
Paperback | $8.75 Trade | £6.95 | ISBN: 9780262621953 | 340 pp. | 8 x 11 in | February 2005

Essential Info

Leon Battista Alberti's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

Re-Cognizing the Architectural Body in the Early Italian Renaissance

About the Author

Liane Lefaivre is Professor and Chair of History and Theory of Architecture, University of Applied Art, Vienna, and Research Associate at the Technical University of Delft.


“This work is of great interest and considerable importance: of interest as an exciting detective story, and of importance as a timely attempt to formulate an epistemology of architectural/cororeal cognittion by unravelling the threads that, in the Hypnerotomachia, end up weaving what the author calls the 'humanist body.' The evidence cited in support of the argument attributing the Hypnerotomachia to Alberti is most impressive, and certainyl convinced me. The potential readership for the work is a wide one: among novices, among specialists and among the growing numbers of people interested in the history of the human body. For the latter group, Lefaivre's account of how and why this body became so unequivocally architectural with Alberti and the quattrocentro will be of particualr interest.”
Indra K. McEdwen, Architectural Historian, McGill University
“This book is an important contribution to our understanding of this complex and rich architectural treatise, whose various levels of meaning the author unravels with erudition and grace. Especially significant is the connection made between the reconfiguration of the body and that of architecture, both approached as sources of pleasure. Equally important is the discussion of creativity as a recombination of visual and textual elements, and the analysis of the treatise as part of the humanist thought-world. The book will read with great profit by those interested in the history of architecture, the history of Renaissance and the history of mentalites.”
Angeliki E. Laiou, Professor of Byzantine History, Harvard University; and Director, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection


Winner of the 1997 Association of American Publishers Best New PSP Book (Literature and Language)

Winner of the 8th Annual AIA International Architecture Book Award for History

Winner of the 8th Annual AIA International Architecture BookAward for History