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 :. | The Battle of Anghiari | Portrait of a Musician | The Last Supper | Mona Lisa | Virgin and Child with St Anne |
Related Artists:MAZZOLA BEDOLI, Girolamo
Italian painter, Parma school (b. 1500, Viadana, d. ca. 1569, Parma)Penleigh boyd
was an Australian artist. Penleigh Boyd was a member of the Boyd artistic dynasty: his parents Arthur Merric Boyd (1862-1940) and Emma Minnie Boyd (n??e ?? Beckett) were well-known artists of the day, and his brothers included Merric Boyd the ceramacist (1888-1959) and the novelist Martin Boyd (1893-1972). His son Robin Boyd (1919-1971) was a noted writer and architectural critic, and his nephews Arthur Boyd and David Boyd became prominent artists. Born in England at Penleigh House, Westbury, Wiltshire, Boyd received his artistic training from his parents and at the National Gallery Art School. He had his first exhibition at the Victorian Artists' Society at 18, and exhibited at the Royal Academy in London at 21. He won second prize in the Australian Federal Government's competition for a painting of the site of the new national capital, Canberra. He won the Wynne Prize in 1914 with Landscape. He served in the AIF (Australian Infantry Forces) in France in World War I, and was invalided out after being badly gassed at the battle of Ypres in 1917. His career was cut short when he was killed in a car accident near Warragul, Victoria in 1923. Penleigh Boyd is best known as a landscapist with an accomplished handling of evanescent effects of light. A notable influence was artist E. Phillips Fox, who introduced him to plein air techniques when they were neighbours in Paris in 1912-1913.Karl Edvard Diriks
Norway (1855 -1930 ) - Painter