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 :. | Portrait of Ginerva de'Benci-u | Madonna of the Rocks | La Belle Ferronniere | Lady with Emine | Study for the Trivulzio Equestrian Monument |
Related Artists:Severin Roesen
Severin Roesen (ca. 1815-1872) is a painter known for his abundant fruit and flower still lifes and is today recognized as one of the major American still-life painters of the mid-nineteenth century. Born in Cologne, in Germany, he emigrated to the United States in 1848.
While Roesen's paintings reveal a meticulous attention to detail in their precise arrangements and close brushwork, his subject matter, even down to specific motifs, did not change throughout his career. Sometimes he made near copies of paintings, but usually he merely rearranged and reassembled stock elements.
Numerous items in Fruit and Wine Glass, for example, also appear in other paintings. The footed desert plate full of strawberries is a common motif. The pilsner glass, sometimes accompanied by an open bottle of champagne, is interchangeable with a wine goblet filled with lemonade used elsewhere. The glass is nearly always placed at the lower left edge of the painting; a halved lemon often appears nearby. Branches full of grapes arranged from lower left to upper right provide the composition with a graceful S-curve and subtly lead the viewer's eye over the entire display. Here the composition is balanced by light and dark grapes at either side and filled in by scattered raspberries, cherries, peaches, apples, pears, and apricots. Many of these compositional elements, if not the items depicted, were derived from seventeenth-century Dutch still life paintings by such artists as Jan van Huysem.George Spencer Watson
R.O.I., R.P., A.R.A., R.A. (8 March 1869, London - 11 April 1934, London) was an English portrait artist of the late romantic school who sometimes worked in the style of the Italian Renaissance. He studied at the RA Schools from 1889, exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1891. He won Royal Academy Schools Silver Medals in 1889 and 1891, and the Landseer Scholarship in 1892. He was elected R.O.I. in 1900, R.P. in 1904, A.R.A. in 1923, and a Member of the Royal Academy (R.A.) in 1932.
He married Hilda, a dancer and mime artist, and follower of the actor Edward Gordon Craig. They had a daughter, Mary Spencer Watson (1913 - 2006), who became a sculptor. In 1923 he bought Dunshay Manor in the hills of the Isle of Purbeck, after already have spent holidays in Swanage.
He died in London and a memorial exhibition was held at the Fine Art Society in the same year. There is a memorial to him in the north vestibule of St James's Church, Piccadilly, London.
Some of his works are held at Tate Britain, the Harris Art Gallery, Preston and collections in Bournemouth, Liverpool, Plymouth and the National Gallery of Canada. Born in London, Watson studied at the Royal Academy from 1889; he exhibited there from 1891 and also at the Paris salon. Retrospective exhibitions were held at the Galerie Heinemann, Munich in 1912, and at the Fine Art Society in 1914. His work A Lady in Black (1922) is owned by the Tate Collection.
Peder Severin Kroyer
(23 July 1851 - 21 November 1909), known as P.S. Krøyer, was a Norwegian-Danish painter. He is one of the best known and beloved, and undeniably the most colorful of the Skagen Painters, a community of Danish and Nordic artists who lived, gathered or worked in Skagen, Denmark, especially during the final decades of the 19th century. Krøyer was the unofficial leader of the group.