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 :. | Lady with the ermine | The Virgin and St Anne (mk08) | Power and ortraits | The annunciation | The Fotus in the Uterus |
Related Artists:BRIL, Paul
Flemish Baroque Era Painter, ca.1554-1626
Painter, printmaker and draughtsman, brother of Matthijs Bril. According to van Mander, Paul studied in Antwerp with Damiaan Wortelmans (1545-after 1588/9) before travelling to Rome, via Lyon, c. 1574, to join his brother, whom, according to Baglione, he assisted on Vatican commissions after 1576. However, no document places Paul in Rome before 1582, and in any case Matthijs was probably not there until c. 1575. Paul's first known independent works are monumental frescoes dating from the late 1580s. They include a dramatic rendering of Jonah and the Whale (1588) in the Scala Santa in the Vatican (based on a drawing by Matthijs; Paris, Louvre) and a series of landscape lunettes (c. 1589) in the Lateran Palace.George W.Lambert
Russia-born Australian portrait painter
1873 - 1930
Australian painter, draughtsman and sculptor. He lived for a period in Europe and emigrated to Australia in 1887. He trained under Julian Rossi Ashton, gaining early recognition for his draughtsmanship. In 1901 he studied in Paris at the Acad?mie Colarossi under Auguste Del?cluse (b 1855). He was strongly influenced by the work of Diego Vel?zquez and Edouard Manet. The work of Sandro Botticelli later inspired him to paint in a high key and with an enhanced realism, as in Important People (1914; Sydney, A.G. NSW). He lived in England from 1902 to 1921John Greenhill
(c. 1644 -19 May 1676) was an English portrait painter, a pupil of Peter Lely, who approached his teacher in artistic excellence, but whose life was cut short by a dissolute lifestyle.
Greenhill was born at Salisbury, Somerset (now Wiltshire) around 1644, the eldest son of John Greenhill, registrar of the diocese of Salisbury, and Penelope Champneys, daughter of Richard Champneys of Orchardleigh, Somerset. His grandfather was Henry Greenhill of Steeple Ashton in Wiltshire. His father was connected through his brothers with the East India trade.
Greenhill's first attempt was a portrait of his paternal uncle, James Abbott of Salisbury, whom he is said to have sketched surreptitiously, as the old man would not sit for him. About 1662 he moved to London, and became a pupil of Sir Peter Lely. His progress was rapid, and he acquired some of Lely's skill and method. He carefully studied Vandyck's portraits, and George Vertue commented that he copied so closely Vandyck's portrait of "Thomas Killigrew and his dog" that it was difficult to know which was the original. Vertue also says that his progress excited Lely's jealousy.
Greenhill was at first industrious, and married early. But a taste for poetry and drama, and living in Covent Garden in the vicinity of the theatres, led him to associate with many members of the free-living theatrical world, and he fell into "irregular habits". On 19 May 1676, while returning from the "Vine Tavern" (in Holborn) in a state of intoxication, he fell into the gutter in Long Acre, and was carried to his lodgings in Lincoln's Inn Fields, where he died the same night. He was buried in St Giles in the Fields church. He left a widow and family, to whom Lely gave an annuity.