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 :. | Regisol | Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci | The Annunciation | Detail of Madonna of the Rocks | Horses with horsemen |
Related Artists:Bohumil Kubista
(1884 - 1918) was a Czech painter and art critic, one of the founders of Czech modern painting. He studied at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, but left in 1906 to study at the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti in Florence. He, Emil Filla, Antonin Prochezka, and five others founded Osma (The Eight), an Expressionist-oriented group of artists.
Kubišta came to his individual expression gradually, at first he was influenced by the work of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne. He educated himself in in philosophy and optics, and studied colour and the geometrical construction of painting.
Kubišta, like several other Czech artists of his generation, was strongly affected by the 1905 Edvard Munch exhibition in Prague. Together with Emil Filla he established the artistic group Osma in 1907. He worked in an Expressionist style until 1910, and exchanged ideas with German painters in Die Bre - ke. He also developed visual ideas learned from the work of Cezanne. His later style (approximately from 1911) was strongly influenced by cubism and expressionism. Expressionist elements, particularly his use of color but also his subject matter, immediately distinguish Kubištaes cubist work from that of founding Paris Cubists Picasso and Braque. He studied color theory, analyzing the harmonic and compositional principles of painters such as El Greco, Eugene Delacroix, Vincent van Gogh, and Edvard Munch. He also paid close attention to mathematical and geometric principles. Around 1911, he became acquainted with Jan Zrzavý and the artistic group Sursum.
He died prematurely during the global 1918 flu pandemic which ravaged Europe after the First World War.
painted Julia Gardiner Tyler in 1846 - 1848
German sculptor, Bavarian school (b. 1685, Wessobrunn, d. 1766, Wies)
German sculptor, Bavarian school (b. 1685, Wessobrunn, d. 1766, Wies)Architect, stuccoist and painter, brother of Johann Baptist Zimmermann. For the first two decades of his creative life, from about 1705, he worked mainly as a builder of altars and as a marbler. His most important commission came from the Benedictine abbey of Fischingen (Thurgau), for which he made six artificial marble altars with scagliola inlays (1708-9). Similar altars, mainly in Swabia, are attributed to him or known to be his work; their construction shows the influence of Johann Jakob Herkommer, with whose work Dominikus became familiar while living in Fessen (1708-16). Between 1709 and 1713 he worked with Johann Baptist Zimmermann at the Buxheim Charterhouse, producing artificial marble altars and stuccowork that is characterized by the botanical accuracy of the plant motifs.