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 :. | Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist | Portrait of Ginevra de' Benci | Mona lisa | Virgin of the Rocks | Pod of cherry and forest strawberry |
Italian Painter, ca.1490-1547
was an Italian painter of the high-Renaissance, active in Venice and the Venetian mainland, including Bergamo, thought to be his native city. His father, also Giovanni Busi, was born in Fuipiano Valle Imagna and was appointed a local magistrate for the Venetian authorities. His son, probably born in Bergamo, is known to have lived in Venice starting in 1509, and may have trained with either Giovanni Bellini or Giorgione, and almost certainly was influenced by them. Though he worked often in Bergamo, he died in Venice in 1547. He was strongly influenced by Palma il Vecchio, but had a provincial love of scenery as seen in his Sacra conversazione with a youthful donor. While working in Bergamo (1517-1523), Eric Ravilious
British Painter, ca.1903-1942
English painter, wood-engraver and designer. He was educated at Eastbourne School of Art and then at the Royal College of Art (1922-5), where he was taught by Paul Nash and became close friends with Edward Bawden. His early works included the refectory mural (destr. 1940) in Morley College, London, and wood-engravings in the tradition of Bewick for the Golden Cockerel, Curwen and Nonesuch presses. In the 1930s he began painting larger compositions in a wider range of colour, and this led him to use lithography for such illustrations as those for High Street. Ravilious also produced designs for Wedgwood, including the celebration mug (1936) for the coronation of King Edward VIII, which was withdrawn and revised for the coronations of George VI and Elizabeth II; the Alphabet mug (1937); the Afternoon Tea (1937), Travel (1938) and Garden Implements (1939) china sets; and the Boat Race Day cup (1938). He also designed glass for Stuart Crystal (1934), furniture for Dunbar Hay (1936) and graphic work for advertisements for London Transport and others. Despite his success as a designer, Ravilious concentrated increasingly on watercolours. His landscapes and rural interiors often featured the downland and coast of southern England; haunting and lyrical, these works show a world in suspense and often feature chalk hill figures, as in Train Landscape (c. 1939; Aberdeen, A.G.) and empty rooms.Mura, Francesco de
Italian painter. He was educated initially in the workshop of Domenico Viola at Naples, but in 1708 he entered the school of Francesco Solimena, whose favourite pupil and most trusted collaborator he became. At first he followed closely Solimena's monumental Baroque manner, as in the frescoes (1715) in S Nicola alla Carit? in Naples, but later developed a more controlled and refined style of rhythmical lines, light and airy colours and delicate psychological overtones. He employed this new style in his ten canvases of the Virtues and his vast Adoration of the Magi (all 1728; Naples, S Maria Donnaromita) and, above all, in his frescoes of the Adoration of the Magi in the apsidal dome of the church of the Nunziatella, Naples (1732; in situ). De Mura was also active as a portrait painter; his Portrait of the Artist's Wife