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 :. | Adoration of the Magi (mk08) | Madonna with the Yarnwinder (detail) dft | Knieened figure in Draperie | Anatomy of the Schadels | Battle of Anghiari |
Related Artists:Daret, Jean
Flemish Baroque Era Painter, 1613-1668
French painter. He came from Brussels and trained there before going on the traditional journey to Italy, which not only took him to Rome but also brought him into contact with contemporary masters at Bologna. While in Italy he produced a Self-portrait (1636; St Petersburg, Hermitage), which alludes to both his ideal model and the necessary basis of his work: his right hand rests on a fragment of antique sculpture, while beside his palette in the foreground lie several sheets of drawings.Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio
was an Italian painter of the High Renaissance from Lombardy, who worked in the studio of Leonardo da Vinci. Boltraffio and Bernardino Luini are the strongest artistic personalities to emerge from Leonardo's studio. According to Giorgio Vasari, he was of an aristocratic family and was born in Milan.
His major painting of the 1490s is the Resurrection (painted with fellow da Vinci pupil Marco d'Oggiono and now in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin). A Madonna and Child in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli of Milan, is one of the high points of the Lombard Quattrocento.
His portraits, often in profile, and his half-length renderings of the Madonna and Child are Leonardesque in conception, though the clean hard edges of his outlines lack Leonardo's sfumato.
In Bologna, where he remained in 1500-1502, he found sympathetic patrons in the Casio family, of whom he painted several portraits and for whom he produced his masterwork, the Pala Casio for the Church of the Misericordia (Louvre Museum); it depicts a Madonna and Child with John the Baptist and Saint Sebastian and two Kneeling Donors, Giacomo Marchione de' Pandolfi da Casio and his son, the Bolognese poet Girolamo Casio, who mentioned Boltraffio in some of his sonnets. Boltraffio's portrait of Girolamo Casio is at the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan.
Andrea Sacchi Gallery
As a young man, Sacchi had worked under Cortona in Castel Fusano (1627-1629). But in a set of public debates later developed in the Roman Artist's Guild, Accademia di San Luca, he strongly criticized Cortona's exuberance. In particular, Sacchi advocated that since a unique, individual expression needs to be assigned to each figure in a composition, a painting should not consist of more than about ten figures. In a crowded composition, the figures would be deprived of individuality, and thus cloud the particular meaning of the piece. In some ways this is a reaction against the zealous excess of crowds in paintings by men such as Zuccari of the prior generation, and by Cortona among his contemporaries. Simplicity and unity were essential to Sacchi. Cortona argued that large paintings were more like an epic, that could avail themselves of multiple subplots. The encrustation of a painting with excess decorative details, including melees of crowds, would represent "wall-paper" art rather than focused narrative. Among the partisan's of Sacchi's argument for simplicity and focus were his friends, the sculptor Algardi and painter Poussin.
The controversy was however less pitched than some suggest, and also involved the dissatisfaction that Sacchi and Albani, among others, shared regarding the artistic depiction of low or genre subjects and themes, such as preferred by the Bamboccianti and even the Caravaggisti. They felt that high art should focus on exalted themes- biblical, mythologic, or from classic history.
Sacchi, who worked almost always in Rome, left few pictures visible in private galleries. He had a flourishing school: Poussin and Carlo Maratta were younger collaborators or pupils. In Maratta's large studio, Sacchi's preference for grand manner style would find pre-eminence among Roman circles for decades to follow. But many others worked under him or his influence including Luigi Garzi, Francesco Lauri, Andrea Camassei and Giacinto Gimignani. Sacchi's own illegitimate son Giuseppe, died young after giving very high hopes.
Sacchi died at Nettuno in 1661.