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 | Virgin of the Rocks (mk10) | The Madonna of the Carnation | The Last Supper-l | Madonna of the Rocks |
Related Artists:Lambdin, George Cochran
American Painter, 1830-1896
American painter. He was a son of the portrait and landscape painter James R. Lambdin (1807-89), who had founded a museum in Pittsburgh in 1828 and directed the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1845 to 1864. George Lambdin studied with his father and began exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1848 and at the National Academy of Design, New York, in 1856. In the mid-1850s he travelled, probably to Munich, Paris and Rome. His early works were sentimental genre paintings, the best known of which are Our Sweetest Songs (1857; New York, N. Acad. Des.) and the Dead Wife (The Last Sleep) (exh. 1858; Raleigh, NC Mus. A.). The latter was shown at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867 together with one of his depictions of a Civil War subject, Consecration, 1861 (1865; Indianapolis, IN, Mus. A.). In 1868-9 he was at the Tenth Street Studio Building, New York, where he continued to exhibit anecdotal genre, especially childhood subjects, as in The Pruner (1868; Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.). He was elected an Academician by the Pennsylvania Academy in 1863 and by the National Academy of Design in 1868. In Germantown, after a short trip abroad in 1870, Lambdin turned to floral studies, especially of roses from his own garden. Some of his floral still-life subjects were conventional table-top arrangements in glass or ceramic vases, but most were paintings of blooming plants and shrubs as they grow in nature or in garden pots, their foliage and blossoms silhouetted against blue sky or a neutral wall, as in Autumn Sunshine Arifi
The Sixteenth century Ottoman court poet
LENS, Andries Cornelis
Flemish painter (b. 1739, Antwerpen, d. 1822, Bruxelles).
Flemish painter and writer. He was the son of the flower painter Cornelis Lens (d after 1766) and studied first under Charles Ykens II (1719-53) and then under Balthazar Beschey. In 1756 he was awarded first prize at the Academie of Antwerp and in 1763 was appointed to the staff on the strength of his decoration (destr.) of the refectory of the Alexians at Lier. He also came to the attention of Charles Alexandre, Duke of Lorraine and Bar, Governor-General of the Netherlands