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 :. | Details of Mona Lisa | Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci | Madonna and Child | The Last Supper | Study fur the communion |
Related Artists:Edwin Deakin
Johannes (or Jan) Vermeer is now recognized as one of the great Dutch painters, but while he was alive he could barely make ends meet, and his artistic achievement was almost entirely ignored for 200 years after his death. Little is known about his personal life, other than he died poor and young and left behind a wife and eleven children. Vermeer is admired for his realistic style, his subtle use of color and light and his unusual and inventive brush technique, but fewer than forty of his paintings exist. His most famous works include domestic scenes such as Girl With a Peal Earring (1665) and The Music Lesson (1662-65), and tranquil landscapes such as The Little Street (1657-58) and View of Delft (1659-60).
Although his actual birth and death dates are unknown, Vermeer was baptized 31 October 1632 and buried 15 December 1675... During his career he used the names Johannes van der Meer, Johannes Vermeer and Jan Vermeer... He was played by actor Colin Firth in the 2003 film Girl With A Pearl Earring, which also starred Scarlett Johansson as the girl.
Job Adriaenszoon Berckheyde
(27 January 1630 - 10 June 1698) was a Dutch artist of the 17th century, active in Haarlem, Amsterdam, and The Hague.
Job Berckheyde was born in Haarlem and was the older brother of the painter Gerrit who he later taught to paint. He was apprenticed on 2 November 1644 to Jacob Willemszoon de Wet, and his master's influence is apparent in his first dated canvas, "Christ Preaching to the Children" (1661), one of his few biblical scenes. On 10 June 1653 he repaid a loan from the Haarlem Guild of Saint Luke. From 1656-1660 the two brothers made an extended trip along the Rhine to Germany, stopping off at Cologne, Bonn, Mannheim and finally Heidelberg, following the example of their fellow guild member Vincent van der Vinne. The brothers worked in Heidelberg for Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine (with Job producing portraits and hunting scenes, and receiving a gold chain from the Elector in reward) but were ultimately unable to adapt to court life and so returned to Haarlem, where they shared a house and perhaps a studio. He became a member of the Haarlem rederijkersgilde 'De Wijngaardranken' in 1666-1682. He is registered in Amsterdam 1682-1688, where he became a member of the Guild of St Luke there in 1685-1688.Berckheyde was buried in Haarlem.