LEONARDO da Vinci
Italian High Renaissance Painter and Inventor, 1452-1519
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 :. | You branching of the Blutgefabe, anatomical figure with heart kidneys and Blutgefaben | La belle Ferronire dg | The Last Supper | The Last Supper (detail) sg | Adoration of the Magi |
Related Artists:Johan van Diest
(fl.1695 - 1757)
Georges Lemmen Gallery
Belgian painter and decorative artist. He showed a precocious talent, first exhibiting in 1875. His only formal study was at a local school of drawing. Between 1884 and 1886 he showed at the Essor group in Brussels paintings that were based on D?rer and Holbein and closely related to those of Lemmen's contemporary, Khnopff. When Lemmen became a member of Les XX in 1888 his style developed quickly, influenced principally by French Neo-Impressionism and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Lemmen adopted the pointillist technique following Seurat's first showing with Les XX in 1887. His best pointillist canvases include The Carousel (1890-91; Toulon, Mme Thevenin-Lemmen priv. col., see Belgian Art, 1880-1914, exh. cat., New York, Brooklyn Mus., 1980, p. 118, fig. 47) as well as portraits of Julie (1891; Chicago, IL, A. Inst.) and Mme Lemmen (1894-5; Paris, Mus. d'Orsay).Huntington Daniel
American Hudson River School Painter.
was born in New York City, New York, the son of Benjamin Huntington, Jr. and Faith Trumbull Huntington; his paternal grandfather was Benjamin Huntington, delegate at the Second Continental Congress and First U.S. Representative from Connecticut. In 1835 he studied with SFB Morse, and produced "A Bar-Room Politician" and "A Toper Asleep." Subsequently he painted some landscapes on the Hudson river, and in 1839 went to Rome. On his return to America he painted portraits and began the illustration of The Pilgrim's Progress, but his eyesight failed, and in 1844 he went back to Rome. Returning to New York around 1846, he devoted his time chiefly to portrait-painting, although he has painted many genre, religious and historical subjects. He was president of the National Academy from 1862 to 1870, and again in 1877-1890.