LEONARDO da Vinci
Italian High Renaissance Painter and Inventor, 1452-1519
Italian High Renaissance Painter and Inventor, 1452-1519 Florentine Renaissance man, genius, artist in all media, architect, military engineer. Possibly the most brilliantly creative man in European history, he advertised himself, first of all, as a military engineer. In a famous letter dated about 1481 to Ludovico Sforza, of which a copy survives in the Codice Atlantico in Milan, Leonardo asks for employment in that capacity. He had plans for bridges, very light and strong, and plans for destroying those of the enemy. He knew how to cut off water to besieged fortifications, and how to construct bridges, mantlets, scaling ladders, and other instruments. He designed cannon, very convenient and easy of transport, designed to fire small stones, almost in the manner of hail??grape- or case-shot (see ammunition, artillery). He offered cannon of very beautiful and useful shapes, quite different from those in common use and, where it is not possible to employ cannon ?? catapults, mangonels and trabocchi and other engines of wonderful efficacy not in general use. And he said he made armoured cars, safe and unassailable, which will enter the serried ranks of the enemy with their artillery ?? and behind them the infantry will be able to follow quite unharmed, and without any opposition. He also offered to design ships which can resist the fire of all the heaviest cannon, and powder and smoke. The large number of surviving drawings and notes on military art show that Leonardo claims were not without foundation, although most date from after the Sforza letter. Most of the drawings, including giant crossbows (see bows), appear to be improvements on existing machines rather than new inventions. One exception is the drawing of a tank dating from 1485-8 now in the British Museum??a flattened cone, propelled from inside by crankshafts, firing guns. Another design in the British Museum, for a machine with scythes revolving in the horizontal plane, dismembering bodies as it goes, is gruesomely fanciful. Most of the other drawings are in the Codice Atlantico in Milan but some are in the Royal Libraries at Windsor and Turin, in Venice, or the Louvre and the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Two ingenious machines for continuously firing arrows, machine-gun style, powered by a treadmill are shown in the Codice Atlantico. A number of other sketches of bridges, water pumps, and canals could be for military or civil purposes: dual use technology. Leonardo lived at a time when the first artillery fortifications were appearing and the Codice Atlantico contains sketches of ingenious fortifications combining bastions, round towers, and truncated cones. Models constructed from the drawings and photographed in Calvi works reveal forts which would have looked strikingly modern in the 19th century, and might even feature in science fiction films today. On 18 August 1502 Cesare Borgia appointed Leonardo as his Military Engineer General, although no known building by Leonardo exists. Leonardo was also fascinated by flight. Thirteen pages with drawings for man-powered aeroplanes survive and there is one design for a helicoidal helicopter. Leonardo later realized the inadequacy of the power a man could generate and turned his attention to aerofoils. Had his enormous abilities been concentrated on one thing, he might have invented the modern glider. Related Paintings of LEONARDO da Vinci :. | The organs of the woman | Muscle structure of the thigh | Knieened figure in Draperie | Madonna in the rock grottos | Leda fh |
Related Artists:Friedrich Carl Groger
(14 October 1766, Plön - 9 November 1838, Hamburg) was a north-German portrait painter and lithographer. One of the most respected portraitists of his time in northern Germany, his works are to be found in several museums, including the Hamburger Kunsthalle, as well as in north German, Holstein and Danish private collections.
Gröger was the son of a tailor in Plön, where he grew up in modest circumstances. His parents wanted him to become a tailor or wood turner and opposed his early artistic activities. He was largely self taught in painting, though he had some contact in Lebeck with Tischbein and in 1785 was in the city of Lebeck, where he met Heinrich Jacob Aldenrath, his first, loyalest and lifelong friend - the Grögersweg in Hamburg-Barmbek named after him links the Tischbeinstraße with the Aldenrathsweg.
From 1789 he studied at Berlin's Akademie der Kenste. He and Aldenrath then went together to Hamburg, then on a joint study trip to Dresden and Paris, then back to Lebeck, where he worked until 1807. They then alternated between Hamburg, Copenhagen, Kiel and Lebeck, before finally settling in Hamburg in 1814. In 1792 Gröger was made an honorary member of the Gesellschaft zur Beförderung gemeinnetziger Tätigkeit in Lebeck.
Gröger developed from a miniature painter into a portrait painter, who towards the end of his life preferred three quarter bust portraits. Aldenrath took over the miniature painting side of their joint business. After lithography developed in northern Germany, they both worked in this medium individually as well as jointly under the business name Firma Gröger & Aldenrath.
George Frederick watts,O.M.,R.A.
English painter and sculptor. He studied at the Royal Academy and in Italy, where he developed an enthusiasm for Renaissance painting and Greek sculpture that greatly influenced his work. He executed several decorative commissions, including his large fresco Justice (Lincoln's Inn, London), modeled after Raphael's School of Athens. Many of his allegorical pictures are in the Tate Gallery, London. The National Portrait Gallery, London, contains a large collection of his portraits of eminent contemporaries. The Metropolitan Museum has his Ariadne in Naxos.Matthias van Helmont