On Painting is a little more technical than the other books on my shelf and while that may make it a little more difficult to get through despite being so short, it’s well worth the read.
More than anything, I recommend it for the beautiful letter Alberti writes to the Florentine architect, Brunelleschi, in the opening dedication. A comment on how he had once believed we would never see the likes of the great artists, architects and minds of antiquity, and the realisation that such a belief stopped him from recognising the wonder created by his contemporaries. The comprehension that the most incredible of times to live in is the ‘now’. A lesson for the ages.
It’s also worth the beautiful discussions on nature.