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 :. | La Gioconda (The Mona Lisa) | Bacchus | Flower Studies | Adoration of the Magi | The Battle of Anghiari |
Related Artists:Jackson Pollock
l912--1956,U.S. painter. He grew up in California and Arizona. In the early 1930s he studied in New York City under Thomas Hart Benton, and later he was employed on the WPA Federal Art Project. In 1945 he married the artist Lee Krasner. Two years later, after several years of semiabstract work stimulated by psychotherapy, Pollock began to lay his canvas on the floor and pour or drip paint onto it in stages. This process permitted him to record the force and scope of his gestures in trajectories of enamel or aluminum paint that veiled the figurative elements found in his earlier work. The results were huge areas covered with complex and dynamic linear patterns that fuse image and form and engulf the vision of the spectator in their scale and intricacy. Pollock believed that art derived from the unconscious and judged his work and that of others on its inherent authenticity of personal expression. He became known as a leading practitioner of Abstract Expressionism, particularly the form known as action painting. Championed by critic Clement Greenberg and others, he became a celebrity. When he died in a car crash at 44, he was one of the few American painters to be recognized during his lifetime and afterward as the peer of 20th-century European masters of modern art. Frederic E.Church
American painter. He was a leading representative of the second generation of the HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL, who made an important contribution to American landscape painting in the 1850s and 1860s. The son of a wealthy and prominent businessman, he studied briefly in Hartford with two local artists, Alexander Hamilton Emmons (1816-84) and Benjamin Hutchins Coe (1799-1883). Thanks to the influence of the Hartford patron DANIEL WADSWORTH, in 1844 he became the first pupil accepted by Thomas Cole. Francois Joseph Heim
(16 December 1787 - 29 September 1865) was a French painter.
He was born at Belfort. He early distinguished himself at the École Centrale of Strassburg, and in 1803 entered the studio of Vincent at Paris. In 1807 he obtained the first prize, and in 1812 his picture of "The Return of Jacob" (Musee de Bordeaux) won for him a gold medal of the first class, which he again obtained in 1817, when he exhibited, together with other works, a St John--bought by Vivant Denon.
In 1819 the "Resurrection of Lazarus" (Cathedral Autun), the "Martyrdom of St Cyr" (St Gervais), and two scenes from the life of Vespasian (ordered by the king) attracted attention. In 1823 the "Re-erection of the Royal Tombs at St Denis," the "Martyrdom of St Laurence" (Nôtre Dame) and several full-length portraits increased the painter's popularity; and in 1824, when he exhibited his great canvas, the "Massacre of the Jews" (Louvre), Heim was rewarded with the Legion of Honour.
In 1827 appeared the "King giving away Prizes at the Salon of 1824" (Louvre--engraved by Jazet) the picture by which Heim is best known and "Saint Hyacinthe." Heim was now commissioned to decorate the Gallery Charles X (Louvre). Though ridiculed by the romantists, Heim succeeded Regnault at the Institute in 1834, shortly after which he commenced a series of drawings of the celebrities of his day, which are of much interest.
His decorations of the Conference room of the Chamber of Deputies were completed in 1844; and in 1847 his works at the Salon "Champ de Mai" and "Reading a Play at the Theâtre Français" were the signal for violent criticisms. Yet something like a turn of opinion in his favour took place at the exhibition of 1851; his powers as draughtsman and the occasional merits of his composition were recognized, and toleration extended even to his colour.
Heim was awarded the great gold medal, and in 1855--having sent to the Salon no less than sixteen portraits, amongst which may be cited those of Cuvier, Geoffroy de St Hilaire, and Madame Hersent he was made officer of the legion of honour. In 1859 he again exhibited a curious collection of portraits, sixty-four members of the Institute arranged in groups of four.
Besides the paintings already mentioned, there is to be seen in Nôtre Dame de Lorette (Paris) a work executed on the spot; and the museum of Strassburg contains an excellent example of his easel pictures, the subject of which is a Shepherd Drinking from a Spring.