Leonardo Da Vinci
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 Virgin of the Rocks | Bacchus | Study of a child | The Annunciation d | Study for the Trivulzio Equestrian Monument |
Related Artists:Theobald Michau
Michau (1676 Tournai - Antwerp 1765) was a conservative Flemish painter of landscapes, more famous in his own time than he is today. He was a pupil of Lucas Achtschellinck.
Subjects of the country festivals (Kermesse) that were popularized by David Teniers, father and son to the extent that paintings and tapestries showing such rustic themes were called Tenieres. Michau painted designs and perhaps provided full-scale cartoons for tapestry weavers, for surviving records of the Brussels tapestry workshop of Pieter van der Borcht record Teniers peints par le fameux Sr Michau, such Teniers-like subjects painted by "the famous Sieur Michau".
Among his work, on wooden or copper panels, in public collections are the Summer and Winter landscapes in Vienna
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1616-1680
Ferdinand was born in Dordrecht as the son of a surgeon, Balthasar Bol. Ferdinand Bol was first an apprentice of Jacob Cuyp in his hometown and/or of Abraham Bloemaert in Utrecht. After 1630 he studied with Rembrandt, living in his house in Sint Antoniesbreestraat, then a fashionable street and area for painters, jewellers, architects, and many Flemish and Jewish immigrants. In 1641 Bol started his own studio.
In 1652 he became a burgher of Amsterdam, and in 1653 he married Elisabeth Dell, whose father held positions with the Admiralty of Amsterdam and the wine merchants' guild, both institutions that later gave commissions to the artist. Within a few years (1655) he became the head of the guild and received orders to deliver two chimney pieces for rooms in the new town hall designed by Jacob van Campen, and four more for the Admiralty of Amsterdam.
Portrait of a Woman Dressed as a Huntress by Ferdinand Bol, courtesy Figge Art MuseumBy this time Bol was a popular and successful painter. His palette had lightened, his figures possessed greater elegance, and by the middle of the decade he was receiving more official commissions than any other artist in Amsterdam. Godfrey Kneller was his pupil. Bol delivered four paintings for the two mansions of the brothers Trip, originally also from Dordrecht.
Bol's first wife died 1660. In 1669 Bol married for the second time to Anna van Arckel, widow of the treasurer of the Admiralty, and apparently retired from painting at that point in his life.In 1672 the couple moved to Keizersgracht 472, then a newly designed part of the city, and now the Museum van Loon. Bol served as a governor in a Home for Lepers. Bol died a few weeks after his wife, on Herengracht, where his son, a lawyer, lived.
Probably his best known painting is a portrait of Elisabeth Bas, the wife of the naval officer Joachim Swartenhondt and an innkeeper near the Dam square. This and many other of his paintings would in the 19th century be falsely attributed to Rembrandt.Thomas Chambers
Thomas Chambers Galleries