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 Last Supper-l | The Battle of Anghiari | The Last Supper | Virgin of the Rocks (mk10) | Christ's Head |
Related Artists:George W.Lambert
Russia-born Australian portrait painter
1873 - 1930
Australian painter, draughtsman and sculptor. He lived for a period in Europe and emigrated to Australia in 1887. He trained under Julian Rossi Ashton, gaining early recognition for his draughtsmanship. In 1901 he studied in Paris at the Acad?mie Colarossi under Auguste Del?cluse (b 1855). He was strongly influenced by the work of Diego Vel?zquez and Edouard Manet. The work of Sandro Botticelli later inspired him to paint in a high key and with an enhanced realism, as in Important People (1914; Sydney, A.G. NSW). He lived in England from 1902 to 1921Panfilo Nuvolone
(1581-1651) was an Italian painter of the Mannerist period, who painted both religious and still life topics, active in Cremona and Mantua.
Born to a Mantuan gentleman, he was the father of a family of Cremonese painters. In that town, he apprenticed with Giovanni Battista Trotti (known as il Malosso). Afterwards he moved to Milan, where frescoe church ceilings, and painted altarpieces and still lifes.
One of his few documented still lifes depict a bowl of peaches, and recalls the near-contemporary paintings of fruit bowls in Milan, including the 1594-98 painting in the Ambrosiana by Caravaggio and similarly themed paintings by Fede Galizia. His son, Carlo Francesco Nuvolone, also a prominent in painter in Lombardy. Panfilo's younger son Giuseppe Nuvolone also a painter. Giuseppe's son Carlo was a mediocre quadratura specialist active mainly around Cremona.Mikhail Vrubel
Russian Symbolist Painter, 1856-1910
Russian painter and draughtsman. He was a pioneer of modernism, and his highly innovative technique broke with the traditions of the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg, where he had been a brilliant student; at the same time he felt dissociated from the social consciousness of The Wanderers.