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 :. | the last supper | Muscles and bone of leg and Hufte | Profile of a man | Annunciation (detail) dg | The Annunciation |
Related Artists:catalan school
banquet of herod
new york, metropolitan museumRobert Graef
American , 1878-1951
(23 April 1708 - 28 October 1754), German poet, was born at Hamburg, where his father, a man of scientific and literary taste, was Danish minister.
He was educated at the gymnasium of Hamburg, and later (1726) became a student of law at Jena. Returning to Hamburg in 1729, he obtained the appointment of unpaid private secretary to the Danish ambassador in London, where he lived till 1731. Hagedorn's return to Hamburg was followed by a period of great poverty and hardship, but in 1733 he was appointed secretary to the so-called "English Court" (Englischer Hof) in Hamburg, a trading company founded in the 13th century. He shortly afterwards married, and from this time had sufficient leisure to pursue his literary occupations till his death.
Hagedorn is the first German poet who bears unmistakable testimony to the nation's recovery from the devastation wrought by the Thirty Years' War. He is eminently a social poet. His light and graceful love-songs and anacreontics, with their undisguised joie de vivre, introduced a new note into the German lyric; his fables and tales in verse are hardly inferior in form and in delicate persiflage to those of his master La Fontaine, and his moralizing poetry re-echoes the philosophy of Horace. He exerted a dominant influence on the German lyric until late in the 18th century.
The first collection of Hagedorn's poems was published at Hamburg shortly after his return from Jena in 1729, under the title Versuch einiger Gedichte (reprinted by A. Sauer, Heilbronn, 1883). In 1738 appeared Versuch in poetischen Fabeln und Erzählungen; in 1742 a collection of his lyric poems, under the title Sammlung neuer Oden und Lieder; and his Moralische Gedichte in 1750. A collection of his entire works was published at Hamburg in 1757 after his death. The best is J.J. Eschenburg's edition (5 vols., Hamburg, 1800). Selections of his poetry with an excellent introduction in F. Muncker's Anakreontiker und preussisch-patriotische Lyriker (Stuttgart, 1894). See also H. Schuster, F. von Hagedorn und seine Bedeutung fer die deutsche Literatur (Leipzig, 1882); W. Eigenbrodt, Hagedorn und die Erzählung in Reimversen (Berlin, 1884).