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 a Lady at the Court of Milan (san05) | The Virgin and Child with Anne (mk05) | Portrait of a Musician | Study for the Trivulzio Equestrian Monument | Christ's Head |
Related Artists:Matthias Grunewald
Matthias Grunewald Galleries
Only religious works are included in his small surviving corpus, the most famous being the Isenheim Altarpiece, completed 1515, now in the Musee d'Unterlinden, Colmar. Its nine images on twelve panels contain scenes of the Annunciation, Mary bathing Christ, Crucifixion, Entombment of Christ, Resurrection, Temptation of St. Anthony and saints. As was common in the preceding century, there are different views, depending on the arrangement of the wings; but the three views available here are exceptional. The third view discloses a carved and gilded wood altarpiece in the centre. As well as being by far his greatest surviving work, the altarpiece contains most of his surviving painting by area, being 2.65 metres high and over 5 metres wide at its fullest extent.
His other works are in Germany, except for a small Crucifixion in Washington and another in Basel, Switzerland. He was asked in about 1510 to paint four saints in grisaille for the outside of the wings of Durer's Heller Altarpiece in Frankfurt. D??rer's work was destroyed by fire and only survives in copies, but fortunately the wings have survived. There are also the late Tauberbischofsheim altarpiece in Karlsruhe, and the Establishment of the Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome (1517-1519), Freiburg, Augustinermuseum. A large panel of Saint Erasmus and Saint Maurice in Munich probably dates from 1521-24, and was apparently part of a larger altarpiece project, the rest of which has not survived. Other works are in Munich, Karlsruhe, and Rhineland churches. Altogether four somber and awe-filled Crucifixions survive. The visionary character of his work, with its expressive colour and line, is in stark contrast to Albrecht Durer's works. His paintings are known for their dramatic forms, vivid colors, and depiction of light.GIORDANO, Luca
Italian Baroque Era Painter, ca.1634-1705
,Italian painter and draughtsman, active also in Spain. He was one of the most celebrated artists of the Neapolitan Baroque, whose vast output included altarpieces, mythological paintings and many decorative fresco cycles in both palaces and churches. He moved away from the dark manner of early 17th-century Neapolitan art as practised by Caravaggio and his followers and Jusepe de Ribera, and, drawing on the ideas of many other artists, above all the 16th-century Venetians and Pietro da Cortona, he introduced a new sense of light and glowing colour, of movement and dramatic action. Delacroix Auguste
French , 1809-1868