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 :. | Madchenkopf with confused hair | Madonna and Child with St Anne and the Young St John | The madonna with the Children | The Annunciation | Studies fur the adoration of the Konige |
Related Artists:Spencer Stanhope
Stanhope was the son of John Spencer Stanhope of Horsforth and Cannon Hall, MP, a classical antiquarian who in his youth explored Greece. The artist??s mother was Elizabeth Wilhemina Coke, third and youngest daughter of Thomas William Coke of Norfolk, first Earl of Leicester; she and her sisters had studied art with Thomas Gainsborough. Stanhope had one older brother, Walter, who inherited Cannon Hall, and four sisters, Anna Maria Wilhelmina, Eliza Anne, Anne Alicia, and Louisa Elizabeth. Anna married Percival Pickering and became the mother of Evelyn.
Not inheriting the family estates left Stanhope free to make a commitment to art. While a student at Oxford, he sought out Watts as a teacher and was Watts?? assistant for some of his architectural paintings. Spencer-Stanhope traveled with Watts to Italy in 1853 and to Asia Minor in 1856?C57. Upon his return, he was invited by Dante Gabriel Rossetti to participate in the Oxford murals project, painting Sir Gawaine and the Damsels.
On January 10, 1859, he married Elizabeth King, the daughter of John James King, granddaughter of the third Earl of Egremont, and the widow of George Frederick Dawson. They settled in Hillhouse, Cawthorne, and had one daughter, Mary, in 1860. That same year, Spencer-Stanhope??s house Sandroyd (now called Benfleet Hall), near Cobham in Surrey, was commissioned from the architect Philip Webb. Finished by 1861, Sandroyd was only Webb??s second house, the first having been built for William Morris. The house was designed to accommodate Stanhope??s work as a painter, with two second-floor studios connected by double doors, a waiting room, and a dressing room for models. The fireplace featured figurative tiles designed by Burne-Jones based on Chaucer??s dream-vision poem The Legend of Good Women. For a person of Stanhope??s social standing, the house was considered ??a modest artist??s dwelling.?? Burne-Jones was a frequent visitor to Sandroyd in the 1860s, and the landscape furnished the background for his painting The Merciful Knight (1964), the design of which Stanhope??s I Have Trod the Winepress Alone is said to resemble.
The move was intended to offer an improved environment for Stanhope??s chronic asthma. When his condition was not alleviated, he turned to wintering in Florence. In the summers, he at first stayed at Burne-Jones??s house in London and later at the Elms, the western half of Little Campden House on Campden Hill, the eastern half of which was occupied by Augustus Egg.
In 1867, at the age of seven, Mary died of scarlet fever and was buried in at the English Cemetery in Florence. Her father designed her headstone.
Though his family accepted his occupation as a painter and took a great interest in art, Evelyn??s parents disparaged the achievements of ??poor Roddy?? and regarded the painters with whom he associated as ??unconventional.?? Considered among the avant-garde of the 1870s, Stanhope became a regular exhibitor at the Grosvenor Gallery, the alternative to the Royal Academy.
Stanhope moved permanently to Florence in 1880. There he painted the reredos of the English Church, and other work in the Chapel of Marlborough College. In 1873, he bought the Villa Nuti in Florence, where he was visited frequently by de Morgan and where he lived until his death.
De Morgan??s sister, A.M.W. Stirling, wrote a collection of biographical essays called A Painter of Dreams, including reminiscences of her uncle, ??the Idealist, the seer of exquisite visions.?? During the 19th and early 20th century, the extended Spencer-Stanhope family included several artists, whose ties were the theme of a 2007 exhibition, Painters of Dreams, part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the opening of Cannon Hall to the public as a museum. Featured were paintings by Stanhope and de Morgan, along with ceramics by her husband, William de Morgan; bronzes by Gertrude Spencer-Stanhope; and the ballroom at Cannon Hall and ??Fairyland?? in the pleasure grounds, which were designed by Sir Walter and his daughter Cecily.
James H. Cafferty
American, 1819-1869Giuseppe Simonelli
(Naples, c.1650 - 1710) was an Italian painter.
Born in Naples around 1650, Simonelli was one of the most important painters of the school of Luca Giordano. His early works were often retouched by Giordano to such a degree that some of them were confused with those of the master. He learned Giordanoes art so well that when the master left Naples for the Spanish court in 1692, he was assigned the task of completing the unfinished Neapolitan works for delivery to clients. Reliable details of his own production are available as from 1686, when he received the final payment for a painting of Holy Martyrs for the Jesuit college in Trapani. His most celebrated works are the series of 28 paintings for the Church of the Annunziata in Aversa, produced between 1702 and 1703 together with his brother Gennaro. He worked continuously right up to his death in 1710.