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 Cecilia Gallarani | The Annunciation-o | The Virgin of the Rocks | The Last Supper |
Related Artists:Jan van Gool
Johan, or Jan van Gool (1685 - 1763) was a Dutch painter and writer from The Hague, now remembered mainly as a biographer of artists from the Dutch Golden Age.
According to the RKD he learned to paint from Simon van der Does and Mattheus Terwesten. He became a member of the Confrerie Pictura in 1711. He was first regent, and then five years later became director, of the Hague Drawing School from 1720-1734. He spent most of his time in the Hague, but travelled to England twice and is recorded there in 1711. He specialized in Italianate landscapes.
He is best known today for his book of artist biographies, otherwise known as the "Nieuw Schouburg". The full title is De Nieuwe Schouburg der Nederlantsche kunstschilders en schilderessen: Waer in de Levens- en Kunstbedryven der tans levende en reets overleedene Schilders, die van Houbraken, noch eenig ander schryver, zyn aengeteekend, verhaelt worden. (The Hague, 1750). Jean - Baptiste Carpeaux
French Realist Sculptor, 1827-1875.
French Realist Sculptor, 1827-1875.French sculptor, painter, draughtsman and etcher. He was one of the leading sculptors of the Second Empire (1852-70) in France. Albert Eckhout
Groningen, 1610 - 1666,was a Dutch portrait and still life painter. Eckhout was among the first European artists to paint scenes from the New World. In 1636, he traveled to Dutch Brazil, invited by count John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen. There, he painted portraits of natives, slaves and mulattos. He is also famous for his still lifes of Brazilian fruits and vegetables. The majority of his work is now stored at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. In art history, he is taken to be part of Baroque.