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 :. | Portrait of Cecilia Gallarani | La Gioconda (The Mona Lisa) | Last Supper | Pod of cherry and forest strawberry | John the Baptist |
Related Artists:NEUREUTHER, Eugen
German painter b. 1806, Mnchen, d. 1882, Menchen,German lithographer, illustrator, decorative artist and painter. He was the son of the painter and printmaker Ludwig Neureuther (d 1832), and began his studies in Munich in 1823. His tutors included Peter von Cornelius, who enlisted him and several other young painters to help decorate the Glyptothek, and Wilhelm von Kobell. In 1830, fired with enthusiasm for the July Revolution in France, Neureuther went to Paris. He produced numerous studies from life (Munich, Staatl. Graph. Samml.), which are among his best works. From 1836-7 he was in Rome. From 1848 to 1856 he ran the Nymphenburg Porzellanmanufaktur, and for ten years from 1868 he taught decorative mural painting at the Munich Kunstgewerbeschule. Neureuther's principal importance lay in the field of book illustration. His reputation was established with the Vignettes for Goethe's Ballads and Romances (Randzeichnungen zu Goethes Balladen und Romanzen), published by J. G. Cotta in five booklets of 46 lithographic contour drawings in Munich, Stuttgart and Tebingen between 1829 and 1839. Goethe, to whom Cornelius had mentioned Neureuther, repeatedly spoke of these works in public, realizing their similarity to the prayer book of the Emperor Maximilian illustrated by Albrecht Derer, Lukas Cranach the elder, Hans Baldung, Albrecht Altdorfer and others. A new edition of this work, with lithographs by August Strixner (b 1820) had appeared in 1808. Neureuther later illustrated many other texts, but his approach became increasingly naturalistic and picturesque, and there was a notable decline in the artistic standard of the work. Filip Andreevich Malyavin
Russian, 1869-1940Charles Beaubrun
(Charles Bobrun) (1604 - 1692) was a French portrait painter active in Paris between 1630-70.
Charles Beaubrun was born at Amboise, a member of a distinguished family of painters. He studied under his uncle Louis Beaubrun (d. 1627). He and his cousin Henri Beaubrun (II) (1603 - 1677), were portrait painters in the courts of King Louis XIII and Louis XIV of France. Some of his work is jointly attributed to Henri. His youngest brother, Michel Beaubrun (d 1642), was also a painter. Charles Beaubrun died at Paris.