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 :. | Last Supper | Adoration of the Magi | The Annunciation | Lady with Emine | Madonna of the Rocks |
Related Artists:Luis Eugenio Melendez
(Naples, 1716-Madrid, 1780) was a Spanish painter. Although he received little acclaim during his lifetime and died in poverty, Melendez is recognized today as the greatest Spanish still-life painter of the 18th century. His mastery of composition and light, and his remarkable ability to convey the volume and texture of individual objects enabled him to transform the most mundane of kitchen fare into powerful images.
Luis Egidio Melendez de Rivera Durazo y Santo Padre was born in Naples in 1716. His father, Francisco Melendez de Rivera Diaz (1682- after 1758), was a miniaturist painter from Oviedo who had moved to Madrid with his older brother, the portrait painter Miguel Jacinto Melendez (1679-1734) in pursuit of artistic instruction. Whereas Miguel remained in Madrid to study and became a painter in the court of Philip V, Francisco left for Italy in 1699 to seek greater artistic exposure. Francisco took a special interest in visiting the Italian academies and settled in Naples where he married Maria Josefa Durazo y Santo Padre Barrille. Luis was a year old when his father, who had been a soldier in a Spanish garrison and lived abroad for almost two decades, returned to Madrid with the family. Luis Egidio, his brother Jose Agusten, and Ana, one of his sisters, began their careers under the tutelage of their father, who was appointed the King's Painter of Miniatures in 1725. After several years, in his words: painting royal portraits in jewels and bracelets to serve as gifts for envoys and ambassadors, he entered the workshop of Louis Michel van Loo (1707-1771), a Frenchman who had been made royal painter of Philip V of Spain. MURILLO, Bartolome Esteban
Spanish Baroque Era Painter, ca.1617-1682
Spanish religious and portrait painter. He was born in Seville, where most of his life was spent. There, c.1645, he painted a series of 11 pictures of the history of the Franciscan order for a monastery. These brought him immediate fame, and for the remainder of his life he was the favorite painter of the wealthy and pious Andalusian capital. His early works show the influence of Zurbarn in the dramatic use of light and shadow. Murillo adapted several compositions from northern and Italian prints. Notable works of his early years include St. Leander, St. Isidore, Vision of St. Anthony (all: cathedral, Seville), Birth of the Virgin (Louvre), and his series for the Church of Santa Maria la Blanca. In 1660 he was instrumental in founding the Seville Academy, of which he shared the presidency with the younger Francisco de Herrera. From 1670 to 1682, Murillo painted many of his major religious works, including those for the Charity Hospital and for the Capuchin convent (Seville Mus.). These religious works, particularly the Madonnas, are noted for their sweetness of mood. In 1682, while working on the Marriage of St. Catherine for the Capuchin church of Cediz, Murillo fell from a scaffold and died as a result of his injuries. Murillo's greatest works include his fine portraits, Don Andres de Andrade y la Col (Metropolitan Mus.) and Knight of the Collar (Prado) and his naturalistic genre paintings, such as Girl and Her Duenna (National Gall., Washington, D.C.) and Peasant Boy (National Gall., London). Joseph heard
British painter, 1799-1859