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 :. | The Baptism of Christ | Study for the Trivulzio Equestrian Monument | The Battle of Anghiari | La Gioconda (The Mona Lisa) | Detail of Madonna of the Rocks |
Related Artists:Henri Leys
(18 February 1815 - 26 August 1869), also known as Henri Leys, was a Belgian painter and printmaker.
Henri Leys was born and died in Antwerp. He studied with Mathieu Ignace Van Bree (1773-1839) at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp and then with his brother-in-law Ferdinand De Braekeleer (1792-1883). At the start of his career, he worked with the Belgian Romantic painter Egide Charles Gustave Wappers (1803-1874). Both artists were interested in nationalistic subjects painted in styles that owe much to the example of 16th- and 17th-century Flemish painting. In 1835 Leys went to Paris where he visited the studio of Eugene Delacroix and met Paul Delaroche. During the 1840s, Leys began painting scenes set in 16th-century Antwerp, combining details studied from life with a deliberately archaizing style reminiscent of 16th-century German painters like Albrecht Derer and Quinten Matsys. Some of the pictures have specific historical subjects, but others are genre scenes. With these pictures, he earned a following among many younger artists in Belgium as well as a considerable reputation in France, where he won a gold medal at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1855 for his historical painting The Mass of Berthal de Haze (Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels). In 1862 Leys was created a baron by King Leopold I. At the time of his death, he was engaged in decorating the interior of the Antwerp Town Hall with monumental frescoes depicting the city's history (1863-9). There are easel replicas of these in Brussels. Among the artists who studied with him are James Tissot and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. His best-known pupil is his nephew Henri De Braekeleer (1840-1888).
Nikolaj Nikolajewitsch Ge
painted Conscience, Judas in 1891j. sustermans
florence, palazzo pitti