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 :. | Madonna of the Rocks | Portrait of Mona Lisa,La Gioconda (mk05) | Cartoon | Christ's Head | Bacchus |
Related Artists:Charles Frederic Ulrich
Charles Frederic Ulrich (1858, New York City - 1908, Berlin), was an American painter.
According to the RKD he worked in the Netherlands ca. 1890. He attended the Royal Academy in Munich, Germany, as did William Merritt Chase, who like him, was influenced by Dutch Golden Age painting and who has been documented as painting his portrait. He was discovered by Thomas B. Clarke, a lace and linen manufacturer in New York who became a collector of contemporary American art. Ulrich painted his portrait in gratitude after his painting "In the Land of Promise, Castle Garden" was shown at the National Academy of Design, where it won the National Academy's first Thomas B. Clarke Prize for Best American Figure Composition.Alexej Kondratjewitsch Sawrassow
Alexei Kondratyevich Savrasov (Russian) (May 24, 1830 - October 8, 1897) was a Russian landscape painter and creator of the lyrical landscape style.
Savrasov was born into the family of a merchant. He began to draw early and in 1838 he enrolled as a student of professor Rabus at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (graduated in 1850), and immediately began to specialize in landscape painting.
In 1852, he traveled to Ukraine. Then, in 1854 by the invitation of the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna, President of the Imperial Academy of Arts, he moved to the neighborhood of St. Petersburg. In 1857, Savrasov became a teacher at the Moscow School of painting, sculpturing and architecture. His best disciples, Isaac Levitan and Konstantin Korovin, remembered their teacher with admiration and gratitude.
Robert Havell Jr Prints
Engraver and painter, cousin of William Havell. He learnt the art of aquatint engraving from his father, Robert Havell I. He worked first in the family engraving business and then c. 1825-7 with Colnaghi in London. In 1827 he undertook the execution in aquatint of the plates for John James Audubon Birds of America, published in parts in London between 1827 and 1838. Havell engraved 425 of the plates and reworked the ten that had been engraved by William Home Lizars in Edinburgh. Havell father printed and coloured some of the double elephant folio sheets in 1827-8 after which Havell took on those tasks himself, establishing himself as a master of aquatint. Among his other important works in the medium are the plates for Mrs E. Bury Selection of Hexandrian Plants (London, 1831-4). In 1839, at Audubon invitation, Havell moved with his family to New York and embarked on a new career as a landscape painter in the style of the Hudson River school, while also working as an engraver. He settled in the Hudson River villages of Ossining (1841) and Tarrytown (1857) but painted throughout north-eastern America. View of Deerfield, Massachusetts (1847; Hist. Deerfield, MA) is characteristic of his quietly romantic idealization of his subjects. Niagara Falls from the Chinese Pagoda (1845; New York, Pub. Lib.), engraved by Havell after one of his paintings, is among the best known of his American aquatints. Though his reputation rests largely on his work for Audubon, his original subjects gave him greater opportunities to display the full range of his aquatint technique.
Part of the Havell family