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 :. | Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci | La Gioconda (The Mona Lisa) | Mona lisa | The Battle of Anghiari | The Annunciation-o |
Related Artists:John Shackleton
was a British painter and draughtsman who produced history paintings and portraits. His parents and origins are unknown.
Shackleton painted several surviving portraits, for example of Henry Pelham (National Portrait Gallery), William Windham (1717 - 1761; now at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk), and of John Bristowe, steward to the first duke of Newcastle (now in the Reitlinger Museum of Fine Art, Maidenhead).
From 1749 he was Principal Painter in Ordinary to George II and George III. He continued to be paid for portraits of the king and queen up even during 1765 - 6, when their official portraits were being done by Allan Ramsay. Several examples of his and his studio's output of royal portraits survive - one of George II dated 1755 is in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh; another of George II in Room 2 of the British Museum, London (commissioned by the museum in 1759 - the Museum also holds engravings after his paintings), along with two more of George II in the Royal Collection and others in Fishmongers' Hall, London, and Maidenhead Museum.
English academic and critic, who had an enormous influence not only on architectural style but on the ways in which standards of aesthetics were judged. He used an Evangelical and polemical tone in his writings that not only reached a mass audience but received the approval of the Ecclesiologists. Initially encouraged by J. C. Loudon, he contributed to some of Loudon's publications, but his key works date from the late 1840s and 1850s. The Gothic Revival was well established when Ruskin published The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849), which was an immediate success, encapsulating the mood of the period rather than creating new ideas. He argued that architecture should be true, with no hidden structure, no veneers or finishes, and no carvings made by machines, and that Beauty in architecture was only possible if inspired by nature. As exemplars worthy of imitation (he argued that the styles known to Man were quite sufficient, and that no new style was necessary) he selected Pisan Romanesque, early Gothic of Western Italy, Venetian Gothic, and English early Second Pointed as his paradigms. In the choice of the last, the style of the late C13 and early C14, he was echoing A. W. N. Pugin's preferences as well as that of most ecclesiologically minded Gothic Revivalists such as G. G. Scott. The Stones of Venice (1851C3) helped to promote that phase of the Gothic Revival in which Continental (especially Venetian) Gothic predominated. Deane and Woodward's University Museum, Oxford (1854C60), is an example of Venetian or Ruskinian Gothic. In particular, structural polychromy, featuring colour in the material used, rather than applied, was popularized by Ruskin's writings. Konrad Krzyzanowski
(1872-1922) was a Polish painter of powerful expressionist landscapes and vivid portraits, born in Kremenchuk in Ukraine. His art studies began in Kiev and were continued in St. Petersburg and Munich. In Warsaw he was a professor at the School of Fine Arts. He took his students for summer open - air sessions around Poland and to Lithuania and Finland. His seascapes were painted mostly in Finland. His works are mentioned briefly in a review of a show of "Independents" at the Royal Albert Hall, published in The New Age.Krzyżanowski died in Warsaw.