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 Annunciation | Cartoon | Detail of Madonna of the Rocks | Portrait of Ginevra de' Benci | The Virgin of the Rocks |
Related Artists:Santi Di Tito
Italian Painter and Architect, 1536-ca.1602
was an Italian painter of Late-Mannerist or proto-Baroque style, what is sometimes referred to as Contra-Maniera. Born in Borgo San Sepolcro, in Tuscany. There is little documentation to support the alleged training under Bronzino or Baccio Bandinelli. From 1558-1564, he worked in Rome on frescoes in Palazzo Salviati and the Sala Grande of the Belvedere (Homage of the People) alongside Giovanni de' Vecchi and Niccol?? Circignani. He acquired a classical trait, described as Raphaelesque by S.J. Freedburg. This style contrasted with the reigning ornate Roman painterliness of the Federico and Taddeo Zuccari or their Florentine equivalents: Vasari, Alessandro Allori, and Bronzino. Among his pupils was Cigoli. Another pupil named Francesco Mochi became a sculptor in the Baroque style, creating among other pieces, the colossal Saint Veronica', supervised by Gianlorenzo Bernini and placed in the crossing of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. After returning to Florence in 1564, He joined the Accademia del Disegno, and he did not venture to paint outside of Tuscany. He contributed two unusual paintings for the Duke's study and laboratory, the Studiolo of Francesco I in the Palazzo Vecchio. This artistic project was partly overseen by Giorgio Vasari. These paintings are (the Sisters of Fetonte and Hercules and Iole). Peter Cramer
(1726 - 1782) was a self-taught artist who prepared the drawings for the illustration of Norden's 'Travels in Egypt,' and then became a decorative and theatrical painter. Together with this occupation he executed popular Danish scenes in the style of Teniers, and several of his pictures were engraved by Haas, Kleve, and Clemens. He died at Copenhagen in 1782.
Joseph Anton Koch
Joseph Anton Koch Galleries
was an Austrian painter of the German Romantic movement. The Tyrolese painter left academic training in the Karlsschule Stuttgart, a strict military academy, and traveled through France and Switzerland. He arrived in Rome in 1795. Koch was close to the painter Asmus Jacob Carstens and carried on Carstens' 'heroic' art, at first in a literal manner.
After 1800 Koch developed as a landscape painter. In Rome he espoused a new type of 'heroic' landscape, revising the classical compositions of Poussin and Lorrain with a more rugged, mountainous scenery. He left Rome in 1812 and stayed in Vienna until 1815, in protest of the French invasion. During this period he incorporated more non-classical themes in his work. In Vienna he was influenced by Friedrich Schlegel and enthusiasts of old German art. In response, his style became harsher, and this new approach had a wide influence on German landscape painters who visited Rome.