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 :. | Lady with Emine | The Madonna of the Carnation | Madonna of the Rocks | Portrait of a Musician | The Virgin of the Rocks |
Related Artists:William Mctaggart
was a Scottish landscape painter who was influenced by Impressionism. The son of a crofter, William McTaggart was born in the small village of Aros in Kintyre. He moved to Edinburgh at the age of 16 and studied at the Trustees' Academy under Robert Scott Lauder. He won several prizes as a student and exhibited his work in the Royal Scottish Academy, becoming a full member of the Academy in 1870. His early works were mainly figure paintings, often of children, but he later turned to land and seascape painting, inspired by his childhood love of the sea and the rugged, Atlantic-lashed west coast of his birth. The Storm, 1890, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.McTaggart was fascinated with nature and man??s relationship with it, and he strove to capture aspects such as the transient effects of light on water. He adopted the Impressionist practice of painting out of doors, and his use of colour and bold brushwork resemble qualities found in paintings by Constable and Turner, both artists whom he admired. McTaggart was skilled in the use of both oil and watercolour and, in addition to Kintyre seascapes, he also painted landscapes and seascapes in Midlothian and East Lothian. Many of his later works depict the Moorfoot Hills which could be seen from his house near Lasswade, which he moved to in 1889. John Whetten Ehninger
American Painter, 1827-1889,American painter and illustrator. After graduating from Columbia College, New York, in 1847, he immediately departed for Europe to pursue artistic training. He visited Italy and France, but staying in Germany, specifically D?sseldorf, was his main objective. There he studied with Karl Friedrich Lessing, Carl Ferdinand Sohn and fellow American Emanuel Leutze, and in Paris he was instructed by Thomas Couture. During the early 1850s he travelled between America and Europe but finally settled in New York in 1853 until his move to Saratoga Springs after marrying in 1877. Ehninger exhibited regularly at the National Academy of Design, New York, where he was elected a full member in 1860.Thomas Kennington
(7 April 1856 - 10 December 1916) was an English genre, social realist and portrait painter. He was a founder member of the New English Art Club (NEAC) and the Imperial Arts League.
Kennington was born in Grimsby in Lincolnshire and trained in art at the Liverpool School of Art (winning a gold medal), the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, and the Academie Julien in Paris, where he studied under Bougereau and Robert-Fleury. He later moved to Chelsea in London.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy, London from 1880 - 1916, and also regularly showed his work at the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) in Suffolk Street and the Grosvenor gallery. He was a founder member and first secretary of the New English Art Club (from 1886), and also founded the Imperial Arts League, whose stated purpose was to "protect and promote the interests of Artists and to inform, advise and assist...."He won a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889.