If a City Were Perfect, What Would It Look Like? – The New York Times

When Baldassare Castiglione described Urbino in 1506 as a “city in the form of a palace” he would probably have expected his more cultivated readers to catch the allusion to Leon Battista Alberti’s assertion in his “De re aedificatoria” (On the Art of Building) that “the city is like a great house, and the house in its turn a small city.”

During his reign between 1444 and 1482, Federico da Montefeltro’s marvelous edifice played host to as much intellectual and artistic activity as entire cities many times Urbino’s size. And Alberti, along with Luciano Laurana, Piero della Francesca and Francesco di Giorgio Martini, at various stages contributed to the palace’s harmonious design and shape.

Urbino’s palace culture also gave rise to the first-ever painted images of utopian cities in the form of a trio of intriguing panels, all now known as “The Ideal City,” one of which remained in Urbino, the other two now being in Baltimore and Berlin.

Source: If a City Were Perfect, What Would It Look Like? – The New York Times

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