" Jacob Burckhardt portrayed Alberti in The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy as a truly universal genius. Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies State University of New York Binghampton 1987
"Descriptio urbis Romae. 
Giorgio Vasari who argued that historical progress in art reached its peak in Michelangelo emphasized Alberti's scholarly achievements not his artistic talents: "He spent his time finding out about the world and studying the proportions of antiquities; but above all following his natural genius he concentrated on writing rather than on applied work.
Although he is often characterized as an "architect" exclusively as James Beck has observed "to single out one of Leon Battista's 'fields' over others as somehow functionally independent and self-sufficient is of no help at all to any effort to characterize Alberti's extensive explorations in the fine arts. " Alberti's life was described in Giorgio Vasari's Vite de' più eccellenti pittori scultori e architettori or 'Lives of the most excellent painters sculptors and architects'. Leon Battista Alberti (February 14 1404 – April 20 1472) was an Italian author artist architect poet priest linguist philosopher cryptographer and general Renaissance humanist polymath.