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 Battle of Anghiari | Christ's Head | Regisol | Madonna and Child with a Pomegranate | John the Baptist |
Related Artists:Joseph Albrier
(1791 -1863 ) - Painter
Johnson, Frank Tenney
American Painter, 1874-1939
was a painter of the american west, and he popularized a style of painting cowboys which became known as "The Johnson Moonlight Technique". Somewhere on the Range is an example of Johnson's moonlight technique. To paint his paintings he used knives, fingers and brushes. Johnson was born in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, on his family's farm along the old Overland Trail near a town then called Big Grove and now known as Oakland. Johnson's mother died in December 1886, and by 1888 the family had moved to Milwaukee. There, in 1893, he enrolled in the Milwaukee School of Art (absorbed by Milwaukee State Normal School in 1913), where he studied with a well-known painter of western subjects, Richard Lorenz.Michiel Sweerts
(29 September 1618-1664), also known as Michael Sweerts, was a Flemish painter of the Baroque period, active in Rome (1645-1656) in the style of the Bamboccianti. The Bamboccianti were known for depicting genre scenes of daily life, but Sweerts's contributions to this genre display greater stylistic mastery and social-philosophical sensitivity than many of his colleagues in this "school." Highly successful in Rome during his years there, Sweerts's reputation suffered a severe collapse not long after his death, lasting centuries; but thanks especially to the 2002 international monographic exhibition devoted entirely to him, Michael Sweerts: 1618-1664, he has begun once again to enjoy the esteem his work clearly merits.
Born in Brussels, he arrived in Rome in 1646, and rapidly moved into the circle of Flemish painters associated with Pieter van Laer (leader of the so-called Bamboccianti painters) and that resided near Santa Maria del Popolo. In 1647, he attended meetings of the Accademia di San Luca, although not as a member. Despite the fragmentary nature of evidence pertaining to his career in Rome and the post-mortem eclipse of his reputation, we know that Sweerts succeeded in creating for himself a sufficiently exalted reputation in the city so as to enter into the service of the ruling papal family itself, the Pamphilj, more specifically, Camillo Pamphilj, nephew of reigning Pope Innocent X who, at the encouragement of Camillo, bestowed upon Sweerts the papal title of Cavaliere di Cristo, the same honor enjoyed by the likes of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini. Despite working in the highest echelons of papal patronage in Rome, sometime between 1652 and 1654, for reasons unknown Sweerts left the Eternal City and returned to the North, and by 1656, he had returned to Brussels, where he joined the painter's guild. He joined the Paris Foreign Missions Society as a lay brother and became a devout Christian. In 1658 he made the guild a self portrait as a farewell gift and moved to Amsterdam, where he would oversee the building of a ship for travel with the aforementioned Missions Étrangeres to Palestine.