LEONARDO da Vinci
Italian High Renaissance Painter and Inventor, 1452-1519
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 :. | Annunciation | Madonna in the cave | Anatomical studies of the basin of the Steibeins and the lower Gliedmaben of a woman and study of the rotation of the arms | Portrait of Ginevra de' Benci sg | The Last Supper |
Related Artists:BACKHUYSEN, Ludolf
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1631-1708
Ludolf Backhuysen (or Bakhuizen) (Dec 28, 1630 - Nov 17, 1708) was a Dutch painter, born in Emden, Hanover.
Bakhuysen started his career as a bookkeeper. He had a very nice handwriting and loved arithmetic. Working for a wealthy merchant at Amsterdam, he discovered so strong a genius for painting that he relinquished the business and devoted himself to art. He studied first under Allart van Everdingen and then under Hendrik Dubbels, two eminent masters of the time, and soon became celebrated for his sea-pieces.
He was an ardent student of nature, and frequently exposed himself on the sea in an open boat in order to study the effects of storms. His compositions, which are numerous, are nearly all variations of one subject, the sea, and in a style peculiarly his own, marked by intense realism or faithful imitation of nature. In his later years Backhuysen employed his skills in etching and calligraphy.
During his life Backhuysen was visited by Cosimo III de' Medici and Peter the Great. In 1699 he opened a gallery on the topfloor of the famous Amsterdam townhall. After a visit to England he died in Amsterdam on November 17, 1708.Malbone, Edward Greene
American Miniaturist, 1777-1807
.American miniature painter. Like his boyhood friend Washington Allston, he was encouraged in his artistic pursuits by Samuel King, who lent him engravings to study. In autumn 1794 Malbone set himself up as a miniature painter in Providence, RI, where he worked for two years, achieving almost immediate success. His earliest miniatures, such as that supposedly of Nicholas Brown (1794; New York, NY Hist. Soc.), although somewhat primitive, demonstrate his precosity. The sitters' faces are modelled with a stippling technique and chiselled planes; their outlines are distinct and crisp. These first compositions all include a conventional portrait background, usually a red curtain pulled back to reveal a blue sky. Despite the laboured technique, they are lively, direct and sensitive. During the second half of the 1790s Malbone travelled the eastern USA in search of commissions. He renewed his friendship with Allston in Boston and later visited New York and Philadelphia. In 1801 he was in Charleston, SC, where he befriended the miniature painter Charles Fraser, on whose work he had a strong influence. He developed a brilliant technique of delicate, barely perceptible crosshatching, using interwoven lines of pale colours to create graceful forms. Rodrigo de Villandrando
Rodrigo de Villandrando (1588 - December 1623) was a court painter during the reign of Philip III of Spain. He worked in the tradition of Alonso Senchez Coello and Juan Pantoja de la Cruz. His death opened the road to court for the young painter Diego Velezquez from Sevilla.