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 Mona Lisa,La Gioconda (mk05) | Study for the Trivulzio Equestrian Monument | Madonna of the Rocks | La Belle Ferronniere | Horses with horsemen |
Related Artists:Alphonse Legros
Alphonse Legros (8 May 1837 - 8 December 1911), painter, etcher and sculptor was born in Dijon. His father was an accountant, and came from the neighbouring village of Veronnes. Young Legros frequently visited the farms of his relatives, and the peasants and landscapes of that part of France are the subjects of many of his pictures and etchings. He was sent to the art school at Dijon with a view to qualifying for a trade, and was apprenticed to Maître Nicolardo, house decorator and painter of images. In 1851 Legros left for Paris to take another situation; but passing through Lyon he worked for six months as journeyman wall-painter under the decorator Beuchot, who was painting the chapel of Cardinal Bonald in the cathedral.
American Painter, 1813-1894
American painter, active also in Europe. At the age of 17 he set up a studio in Boston after receiving encouragement from Thomas Sully, who was painting portraits there. Despite his youth and lack of training, he presented himself to the society figure Mrs Harrison Gray Otis and asked if he might paint her portrait (untraced); she agreed and later sponsored Healy's first trip abroad. In 1834 he entered the studio of Antoine-Jean Gros; the French master's suicide the following year ended Healy's only sustained period of artistic study. In Gros's studio he first encountered Thomas Couture, but they did not meet again until the next decadej. h. scheffel
Wismar 1690 - Västerås 1786
J.H. Scheffel kom från en borgasläkt i Wismar, en nordtysk stad som på 1600-talets införlivats med Sverige. Om Scheffels läroår vet man ingenting utöver uppgiften i en gammal biografi att han studerade till målare i Berlin, Paris och Brabant.
Scheffel dök upp i Stockholm år 1723. Uppenbarligen samarbetade han först med David von Krafft. Efter dennes död 1724 grundade Scheffel, då redan fullärd porträttör, sin egen atelj??. Ett av de första uppdragen, porträttet av borgmästare Bergstedts unga dotter, ledde till ett lyckligt och av en riklig hemgift åtföljt äktenskap med fröken Bergstedt.
Scheffel samlade redan tidigt kring sig en trogen kundkrets bland adeln och det förmögna borgarskapet. Han behöll sin framgångsrika position från 1720-talet till 1760-talet. Någon ledande hovmålare eller mest gynnad societetsmålare i Stockholm var Scheffel aldrig. Hans stadiga popularitet som pålitlig och kompetent porträttmålare rubbades emellertid inte av modets växlingar, ty han hade förmågan att smidigt följa de nya strömningarna utan att pruta på sin karga och förnuftiga konstnärliga egenart. Scheffels porträtt visar sällan prov på pretentiösa barockgester eller affekterad romantisk tillgjordhet. Hans personåtergivning var utfunderad och konstaterande. I hans digra produktion ingår stela rutinarbeten, men i bästa fall är hans målningar karaktärsstudier som bygger på en stark vision. Hans målningsteknik var kompetent men anspråkslös: i helheten fäster man uppmärksamhet vid mänskobilden, inte vid utförandet.
När Scheffel i 75-årsåldern som pensionerad drog sig tillbaka för att tillbringa tiden med sin familj var han en rask och förmögen gammal herre. Han uppnådde den för tiden ovanligt höga åldern av 91 år, enligt dottersonen till följd av sitt glada och jämna humör, sina ordentliga levnadsvanor och en till åldern anpassad flit och motion .