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 (detail) st | Madonna in the rock grottos(Details | Plan fur a canal to the evasion of the Arno | Mona Lisa (mk08) | Madonna with the Yarnwinder |
Related Artists:Mattia Preti
1613-1699 Italian Mattia Preti Gallery
Born in the small town of Taverna in Calabria, Preti was sometimes called Il Cavalier Calabrese (the Knight of Calabria). His early apprenticeship is said to have been with the "Caravaggist" Giovanni Battista Caracciolo, which may account for his life-long interest in the style of Caravaggio.
Probably before 1630, Preti joined his brother Gregorio (also a painter), in Rome, where he became familiar with the techniques of Caravaggio and his school as well as with the work of Guercino, Rubens, Reni, Giovanni Lanfranco. In Rome, he painted fresco cycles in Sant'Andrea della Valle and San Carlo ai Catinari. Between 1644 and 1646, he may have spent time in Venice, but remained based in Rome until 1653, returning later in 1660-61. He painted frescoes for the church of San Biago at Modena (app. 1651-2) and participated in the fresco decoration of the Palazzo Pamphilj in Valmontone (documented 1660-61), where he worked along with Pier Francesco Mola, Gaspar Dughet, Francesco Cozza, Giovanni Battista Tassi (il Cortonese), and Guglielmo Cortese.
Jacob blessing his grandchildren, Ephraim and Manasseh, in the presence Joseph and their mother Asenath. Whitfield Fine Art Gallery, London.During most of 1653-1660, he worked in Naples, where he was influenced by the other major Neapolitan painter of his era, Luca Giordano. One of Preti's masterpieces were a series of large frescoes, ex-votos of the plague (which were painted on seven city gates but have since been lost to the ravages of time), depicting the Virgin or saints delivering people from the plague. Two sketches are in the Capodimonte Museum in Naples. The bozzetto of the Virgin with the baby Jesus looming over the dying and their burial parties envisions a Last Judgement presided over by a woman. Preti's salary for the work was 1500 ducats. Preti also won a commission to supervise the construction, carving, and gilding for the nave and transept of San Pietro a Maiella.
Having been made a Knight of Grace in the Order of St John, he visited the order??s headquarters in Malta in 1659 and spent most of the remainder of his life there. Preti transformed the interior of St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, with a huge series of paintings on the life and martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (1661-1666). In Malta one also can find many paintings of Preti in private collections and in parish churches. His increased reputation led to an expanded circle of patrons, and he received commissions from all over Europe.
Preti was fortunate to enjoy a long career and have a considerable artistic output. His paintings, representative of the exuberant late Baroque style, are held by many great museums, including important collections in Naples, Valletta, and in his hometown of Taverna.Giandomenico Tiepolo
Italian Rococo Era Painter , Venice 1727 - 1804
was a painter and printmaker in etching, son of artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and elder brother of Lorenzo Baldissera Tiepolo. Domenico was born in Venice, studied under his father, and by the age of 13 was the chief assistant to him. He was one of the many assistants, including Lorenzo, that transferred the designs of his father (executed in the 'oil sketch' invented by the same). By the age of 20, he was producing his own work for commissioners. He assisted his father in Werzburg 1751-3, decorating the famous stairwell fresco, in Vicenza at the Villa Valmarana in 1757,Giuseppe de nittis
Italian painter, pastellist and printmaker. Throughout his career he was committed to a plein-air aesthetic and was particularly interested in rendering varying light effects, a concern that brought him into contact with the Impressionists. He was also acquainted with the members of the Macchiaioli, for whom his work was influential. In addition to oils, he experimented with printmaking and made innovative use of pastels. Practising a restrained, and therefore 'acceptable', form of Impressionism,