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 :. | Saint John the Baptist | Detail of Madonna of the Rocks | The Last Supper-l | Virgin of the Rocks (mk10) | Regisol |
Related Artists:Yasuo Kuniyoshi
Japanese-born American Photographer, 1893-1953
was an American painter, photographer and printmaker born in Okayama, Japan. He migrated to America in 1906, a year later began studying at the Los Angeles School of Art and Design. In 1935 he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. He was known for his still-life paintings of common objects, female circus performers and nudes. He died in New York City. Joseph Whiting Stock
American painter. He was physically handicapped and confined to his house until his doctor advised a wheelchair, which, when placed on a railway carriage, allowed him to travel. He took painting lessons as therapy from Franklin White, a pupil of Chester Harding, and became proficient as an artist. This enabled him to make a living painting portraits, landscapes and miniatures throughout New England and part of New York State. He kept a journal that lists 912 examples of his work executed between 1832 and 1846, with the names of his sitters, canvas sizes, the prices charged and where the pictures were painted. No examples of his landscapes have survived and only a few of his 80 miniatures have been located. The earliest miniatures date from 1836, but most were executed in 1842 and 1845 when he lived in New Bedford, MA. Few American primitive artists of the 19th century were as productive as Stock.Jacopo Zucchi
(c. 1541- c. 1590) was a Florentine painter of the Mannerist style, active in Florence and Rome.
His training began in the studio of Giorgio Vasari, and he participated in decoration of the Studiolo and the Salone dei Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio. Moving to Rome in the early 1570s, he worked for the Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici in his Palazzo Firenze (1574). He also helped decorate, along with his brother, the apse and dome of Santo Spirito in Sassia with a fresco of the Pentecost. He painted the grand salon of the former Rucellai (now Ruspoli) palace in Rome with mythologic genealogies. Two canvases, representing the Ascension and Resurrection, are housed in the church of San Lorenzo Martire in San Lorenzo Nuovo (Italy).