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 :. | Detail of Madonna of the Rocks | The Annunciation d | Portrait of a Lady at the Court of Milan (san05) | Portrait of Ginevra de' Benci | Madonna and Child with a Pomegranate |
Related Artists:Gideon Jacques Denny
(1830-1886) was a marine artist who was born in Wilmington, Delaware on July 15, 1830. As a young man, he worked on ships in the Chesapeake Bay. He traveled to California in 1849 with the Gold Rush. He worked as a teamster on the San Francisco docks and was a member of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance. After two years in California, he moved to Milwaukee, where he studied painting with Samuel Marsden Brookes. After six years of study in Milwaukee, Denny returned to San Francisco and established a studio on Bush Street. In 1862, Brooks moved to San Francisco and shared a studio with Denny. In 1868, Denny spent two months in Hawaii visiting several islands. He is also known to have visited Canada and South America. Denny died of malaria in Cambria, California on Oct. 7, 1886.
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Bishop Museum (Honolulu), the Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, California), the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, and the Oakland Museum of California are among the public collections holding works by Gideon Jacques Denny.
was a French Baroque composer, organist and harpsichordist. François Couperin was known as "Couperin le Grand" (Couperin the Great) to distinguish him from the other members of the musically talented Couperin family.
Austrian-born American Painter, 1864-1929
was an American artist known primarily for his beautiful floral paintings and California landscapes. He was born in Bomen, Austria on January 9, 1864 and as a young teenager immigrated to the United States where he became a naturalized citizen. While in Europe, his early training was focused upon applied design, watercolor and ceramic decorations.After having lived and worked in New York, Fostoria, Ohio and Dearborn, Michigan, Franz Bischoff decided to visit California in 1900 and ultimately chose to settle in Los Angeles in 1906. Shortly after arriving, he started making arrangements to design and build a large Italian Renaissance style home in Pasadena that also became his studio. This landmark home was completed in 1908. Inspired by the California countryside, Bischoff set attempted to capture the area's brilliant light and diverse landscapes. Spending less time with ceramic painting, Bischoff painted local farms, fishing wharfs, and coastal landscapes. Recognized during his career for use of color and vivid composition, his paintings always displayed reverence for nature. One critic commented that some of his later works flirted with Expressionism and his use of colors were reminiscent of Fauvism.