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 :. | Leda | The Battle of Anghiari | Virgin of the Rocks (mk10) | La Gioconda (The Mona Lisa) | Madonna of the Rocks |
Related Artists:John wharlton bunney
was an English topographical and landscape artist of the nineteenth century. His father was a merchant captain whom Bunney, as a boy, accompanied on several voyages around the world. Bunney demonstrated a strong talent for drawing and draftsmanship from an early age. The young Bunney became a follower of John Ruskin; he studied with Ruskin at the Working Men's College soon after its founding in 1854, and later worked as a clerk for Smith, Elder & Co., Ruskin's publisher. Bunney was able to give up his clerical job and make his living by his art and art teaching by 1859; Ruskin commissioned him to execute a series of drawings in Italy and Switzerland.Bunney married Elizabeth Fallon in 1863. The couple settled in Florence; they would have four children. Bunney worked for Ruskin's St. George's Company (later the Guild of St George) in northern Italy for the remainder of his life. In his career there, Bunney produced a noteworthy pictorial record of Italy in his era. Ruskin said that Bunney's work was "so faithful and careful as almost to enable the spectator to imagine himself on the spot." Bunney was a friend of many of the Pre-Raphaelites, especially William Holman Hunt. From 1870 on, Bunney lived and painted in Venice. In 1876 Ruskin commissioned Bunney to paint a picture that included the entire western facade of St. Mark's BasilicaJean-Baptiste Capronnier
(1814-1891) was a Belgian stained glass painter. Born in Brussels in 1814, he had much to do with the modern revival of glass-painting, and first made his reputation by his study of the old methods of workmanship, and his clever restorations of old examples, and copies made for the Brussels archaeological museum. He carried out windows for various churches in Brussels (including the Église Royale Sainte-Marie), Bruges, Amsterdam and elsewhere, and his work was commissioned also for France, Italy and England. At the Paris Exhibition of 1855 he won the only medal given for glasspainting. He died in Brussels in 1891.
Pieter Lodewyk Kuhnen
painted Romantic Rhine landscape with ruin at sunset in 19th century