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 :. | Portrait of Ginerva de'Benci | Adoration of the Magi | Cartoon | Horses with horsemen | The Annunciation |
Related Artists:Robert Dampier
(1799 - 1874) was a British artist and clergyman.
Dampier was born in 1799 at the village of Codford St Peter in Wiltshire, England He was baptised on the 20th of Dec. 1799 (LDS IGI record batch # C014402). He was one of 13 children of Codford St Peter's rector Reverend John Dampier (1763-1839) and his wife Jane. In 1819 he went to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil as a clerk. In 1825, he was picked up in Rio to be the expedition artist on the English ship HMS Blonde under the command of Captain George Anson Byron. The ship was returning the bodies of King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamemalu to the Hawaiian islands (known by the British as "Sandwich Islands"), after both died from measles during a visit to England. Robert Dampier spent 11 weeks in Hawaii painting portraits in oil paint and making pencil drawings of landscapes.
After returning to England, he studied law at Cambridge University and then was ordained in the Church of England. He married Sophia Francis Roberts in 1828. In 1837 he became rector of Langton Matravers church. Circa 1843 they had a daughter Juliana Sophia, His wife Sophia died in 1864, and he married again in 1872. He had a daughter Frederika from the second marriage. Although employed a rector, he continued to sketch until his death in 1874.
Major works by Robert Dampier are held by the Honolulu Academy of Arts and Washington Place, also in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Egbert van der Poel
Egbert van der Poel (Delft, 1621 - Rotterdam, 1664) was a Dutch Golden Age genre and landscape painter, son of a Delft goldsmith.
He may possibly have been a student of Esaias van de Velde and of Aert van der Neer. According to the RKD he was the brother of the painter Adriaen Lievensz van der Poel and a student of Cornelis Saftleven in Rotterdam. Van der Poel was registered with the Guild of St Luke in Delft on October 17, 1650, where he is listed as a landscape painter. In 1651 van der Poel married Aeltgen Willems van Linschooten in Maassluis, near Rotterdam. His most famous paintings depict the Delft gunpowder explosion of October 12, 1654 and its aftermath; he and his wife were living in the area at the time. Egbert and Aeltgen van der Poel had a son and three daughters. He died in Rotterdam in 1664.Anton Domenico Gabbiani
Anton Domenico Gabbiani Gallery
Italian painter. He first trained with the Medici court portrait painter Giusto Suttermans and then with the painter Vincenzo Dandini. On 20 May 1673 he arrived in Rome, where he studied for three years under Ciro Ferri and Ercole Ferrata at the Accademia Fiorentina. He responded in particular to the paintings of Pietro da Cortona and Carlo Maratti who were both to be important influences on him. Though not precocious, Gabbiani became one of the most noted painters from the Accademia. After a period in Venice (1678-9) with the portrait painter Sebastiano Bombelli, he was in Florence in 1680. By 1684, the year in which he executed an Annunciation (destr.) for the Palazzo Pitti, he was an independent painter. His first important public commission, the St Francis de Sales in Glory (1685) for the church of SS Apostoli, Florence (in situ), shows the influence of Maratti in its grandiose composition and that of Dandini in the treatment of figures. In Prince Ferdinando de Medici Gabbiani found a particularly loyal patron, and he painted his portrait, Ferdinando de Medici and his Musicians (c. 1685; Florence, Pitti). One of the works executed for Ferdinando was possibly a portrait of his sister, which Chiarini has identified with the painting of Anna Maria Luisa de Medici (c. 1685; Florence, Pitti). Further works from this period are the group portrait of Three Musicians (Florence, Pitti) at Ferdinando court and a Group of Courtiers (1685-90; Florence, Uffizi).