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Leon Battista Alberti's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili : recognizing the architectural body in the early Italian Renaissance

Author: Liane Lefaivre
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"The enigmatic, polyglot 'Hypnerotomachia Poliphili' - the inspiration for the bestselling novel 'The Rule of Four' - has fascinated architects and historians since its publication in 1499. Part fictional narrative and part scholarly treatise, richly illustrated with wood engravings, the book is an extreme case of erotic furor, aimed at everything, especially architecture, that the protagonist, Poliphilo, encounters  Read more...
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Named Person: Francesco Colonna; Leon Battista Alberti; Francesco Colonna; Colonna; Francesco Colonna; Leon Battista Alberti; Francesco Colonna; Leon Battista Alberti; Francesco Colonna
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Liane Lefaivre
ISBN: 0262122049 9780262122047
OCLC Number: 35450425
Description: 297 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Contents: Introduction : Metaphors and mental leaps : toward a cognitive history of architecture --
1. The read Hypnerotomachia, or the Hypnerotomachia as knowledge --
2. The unread Hypnerotomachia, or design as dreamwork and thought experiment --
3. The hard Hypnerotomachia, or the code of recombination --
4. Implausible authors --
5. The real Poliphilo --
6. Reconfiguring the architectural body, changing the architectural mind --
7. The dangerous body --
8. The marvelous body --
9. The divine body --
10. The humanist body.
Responsibility: Liane Lefaivre.

Abstract:

"The enigmatic, polyglot 'Hypnerotomachia Poliphili' - the inspiration for the bestselling novel 'The Rule of Four' - has fascinated architects and historians since its publication in 1499. Part fictional narrative and part scholarly treatise, richly illustrated with wood engravings, the book is an extreme case of erotic furor, aimed at everything, especially architecture, that the protagonist, Poliphilo, encounters in his quest for his beloved, Polia. Among the instances of the book's manifesto-like character is Polia's tirade defending the right of women to express their own sexuality, probably the first sustained argument of this type, which lifts the book's erotic theme from the realm of ribaldry to the more daring one of sexual politics. Liane Lefaivre offers the closest critical-theoretical reading of 'Hypnerotomachia Poliphili' to date, placing it within both the historical context of the quattrocento and the rethinking of the metaphor of the architectural body. Lefaivre is the first to attribute this strange, dreamlike book definitively to none other than the archrationalist Leon Battista Alberti. Intended as his final text, she argues, the book is the legacy of a humanist passionate about his life's work, a treatise on the role of dreamwork in design by one of the mose creative minds of the Renaissance, and a manifesto in defense of humanism by a man who had been dismissed by an anti-humanist pope after a thirty-year career in the papal service"--Back cover.

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