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 :. | The Verkundigung | Madonna in the cave | Funf studies of grotesque faces | The Virgin of the rocks | The Annunciation |
Related Artists:Henri Gascar
Henri Gascar, Portrait of Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland
James II of England, then Duke of York (1660s)Henri Gascar (1635 -1 Jan 1701) was a French-born portrait painter who achieved artistic success in England during the reign of Charles II. He painted many leading ladies at court, including several of the King's mistresses.
Gascar was born in Paris, the son of Pierre Gascar, a minor painter and sculptor. Gascar came to England about 1674, probably at the behest of Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth, Charles II's favourite mistress. Gascar (or Gascard, as he seems to have spelt his name at first) was already known as a skillful portrait-painter; among the portraits already painted by him was that of Nicolas de Lafond, author of the "Gazette of Holland", painted in 1667, and engraved by Peter Lombart.
The patronage of the Duchess of Portsmouth insured Gascar a rapid success in England. His flamboyant style, contrasting with the stolid English approach, seemed to suit the frivolity of the time and he painted many of the ladies of Charles II's court. His lack of attention to detail in the likeness he made up for by the sumptuous draperies and tawdry adornments around the subject. For a short time he became fashionable, and is said to have amassed a fortune of over £10,000.
Among the portraits painted by him during his time in England were Charles II (engraved by Peter Vanderbank); Louise, Duchess of Portsmouth (twice - once engraved by Étienne Baudet); Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland (nee Villiers), and her daughter, Barbara Fitzroy; Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond; Frances Stewart, Duchess of Richmond; George FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Northumberland; Nell Gwyn; Sophia Bulkeley (engraved by Robert Dunkarton); Edmund Verney; and Philip Herbert, 7th Earl of Pembroke. It is stated that the last-named portrait was done surreptitiously for Louise, Duchess of Portsmouth. A portrait by Gascar of James II as Duke of York was in that king's collection. Francisco Camilo
Spanish painter (b. 1615, Madrid, d. 1673, Madrid)
was an Italian painter of the Renaissance period. He was born at Bassano del Grappa near Venice, the eldest son of Jacopo Bassano and grandson of Francesco da Ponte the Elder. He studied with his father and worked in the Bassano family workshop along with his three brothers, including Giambattista and Girolamo. He moved to Venice where he ran the branch of the family business, and where he was employed to paint a series of historical pictures in the Doge's Palace, but prone to hypochondria and other ailments, committed suicide by throwing self-defenestration soon after his father's death in 1592.Piero della Francesca
Italian Early Renaissance Painter, ca.1422-1492 Italian painter and theorist. His work is the embodiment of rational, calm, monumental painting in the Italian Early Renaissance, an age in which art and science were indissolubly linked through the writings of Leon Battista Alberti. Born two generations before Leonardo da Vinci, Piero was similarly interested in the scientific application of the recently discovered rules of perspective to narrative or devotional painting, especially in fresco, of which he was an imaginative master; and although he was less universally creative than Leonardo and worked in an earlier idiom, he was equally keen to experiment with painting technique. Piero was as adept at resolving problems in Euclid, whose modern rediscovery is largely due to him, as he was at creating serene, memorable figures, whose gestures are as telling and spare as those in the frescoes of Giotto or Masaccio. His tactile, gravely convincing figures are also indebted to the sculpture of Donatello, an equally attentive observer of Classical antiquity. In his best works, such as the frescoes in the Bacci Chapel in S Francesco, Arezzo, there is an ideal balance between his serene, classical compositions and the figures that inhabit them, the whole depicted in a distinctive and economical language. In his autograph works Piero was a perfectionist, creating precise, logical and light-filled images (although analysis of their perspective schemes shows that these were always subordinated to narrative effect). However, he often delegated important passages of works (e.g. the Arezzo frescoes) to an ordinary, even incompetent, assistant.