Leon Battista Alberti was the archetype of the Renaissance 'universal man'. Bron in Genoa
in 1404, he belonged to one of the wealthy merchant-banker families of Florence, and was
sent to boarding school in Padua where he received a classical Latin education. Graduating
in canon law from the University of Bologna, he subsequently entered the service of the
Church and became a secretary in the Papal Chancery at Rome. Taking holy orders, he returned
to Florence in 1434, where his association with Donatello and Brunelleschi led to the book
On Painting and his interest in the design of Churches. He died in Rome in 1472.