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 :. | Our Lady and St Anne | Portrat of Isabella d-Este | The Virgin and the Nino with Holy Ana | Study fur the communion | Madonna and Child with a Pomegranate et |
Related Artists:Gerrit van Honthorst
Gerrit Van Honthorst Galleries
Gerard van Honthorst (November 4, 1592 - April 27, 1656), also known as Gerrit van Honthorst and Gherardo della Notte, was a Dutch painter of Utrecht. He was brought up at the school of Abraham Bloemaert, who exchanged the style of the Franckens for that of the pseudo-Italians at the beginning of the 16th century.
Margareta Maria de Roodere and Her Parents by Gerrit van Honthorst (1652) Oil on canvas, 140 x 170 cm. Centraal Museum, UtrechtInfected thus early with a mania which came to be very general in the Netherlands, Honthorst went to Italy in 1616, where he copied the naturalism and eccentricities of Michelangelo da Caravaggio. Home again about 1620, after acquiring a considerable practice in Rome, he set up a school at Utrecht which flourished exceedingly. Together with his colleague Hendrick ter Brugghen, he represented the so-called Dutch Caravaggisti. In 1623 he was president of his gild at Utrecht, where he had married his cousin. He soon became so fashionable that Sir Dudley Carleton, then English envoy at The Hague, recommended his works to the earl of Arundel and Lord Dorchester. In 1626 he received a visit from Rubens, whom he painted as the honest man sought for and found by Diogenes.
The queen of Bohemia, sister of Charles I of England and electress palatine, being in exile in the Netherlands, gave Honthorst her countenance and asked him to teach her children drawing; and Honthorst, thus approved and courted, became known to her brother Charles I, who invited him to England in 1628. There he painted several portraits, and a vast allegory, now at Hampton Court, of Charles and his queen as Diana and Apollo in the clouds receiving the duke of Buckingham as Mercury and guardian of the king of Bohemia's children. Charles I, whose taste was flattered alike by the energy of Rubens and the elegance of Van Dyck, was thus first captivated by the fanciful mediocrity of Honthorst, who though a poor executant had luckily for himself caught, as Lord Arundel said, much of the manner of Caravaggio's colouring, then so much esteemed at Rome.Gilbert Stuart
Gilbert Stuart was born in North Kingston, R.I., on Dec. 3, 1755. At the age of 13 or 14 he studied art with the Scottish painter Cosmo Alexander in Newport. With Alexander he made a tour of the South and a journey to Edinburgh, where Alexander died in 1772. For about a year Stuart remained, poverty-stricken, in Scotland, but finally, working as a sailor, he managed to get back to America. There he executed a few portraits in a hard limner fashion. With the Revolutionary War threatening, his family, who had Tory sympathies, fled to Nova Scotia, and Stuart sailed for London, where he remained from 1775 to 1787. For the first 4 or 5 years, Stuart served as the first assistant of American expatriate painter Benjamin West, who had rescued him from poverty. From the first, Stuart showed an interest only in portraiture and had no desire to go into the branch of history painting West practiced. After his apprenticeship, Stuart became London's leading portrait painter, next to Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough, whose style he emulated, as in a rare full-length portrait of William Grant of Congalton as The Skater (ca. 1782). For a while Stuart lived in splendor, but being a bad businessman and a profligate spender, he was in constant debt. He lived in Ireland from 1787 to 1792 and then returned to America to make a fortune,Robert Morrison