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 :. | Head of a girl | Lady with the ermine | Mona Lisa (mk45) | A full-scale composition of the Virgin and Child with St Anne and the infant St John the Baptist | Anatomy of the Schadels |
Related Artists:Maso da San Friano
(1536-1571) was an Italian painter active in Florence. His real name was Tomaso D'Antonio Manzuoli. He was born in San Friano and died in Florence.
According to Giorgio Vasari, Maso was a pupil of Pier Francesco Foschi while others claim it was Carlo Portelli. He collaborated with an elder Michelangelo on some projects.
His altarpiece of the Visitation was painted in 1560 for the church of San Pier Maggiore of Florence - now in Trinity Hall Chapel, Cambridge, England. A similar work can be seen in the Prato cathedral. After 1561, he painted in the church of Ognissanti, Florence and in the church of Santa Felicita. He participated in the decoration of the Studiolo of Francesco I with an oval canvas relating the Fall of Icarus story (1572). The canvas has an affected milling in individuals below and an anomalous perspective; both are classic features of mannerist painting. His second contribution Mining of Diamonds. A portrait of Ferdinando I de' Medici (1570) by Maso can be found in the Town Council Hall of Prato.
He is thought to be one of part of the Contra-Maniera or Counter-Mannerism movement in Florence. His most important pupils were Jacopo da Empoli and Alessandro Fei.
One of his paintings, thought to be of Cosimo I de Medici in 1560, is believed to be the oldest to show a watch
Friedrich Wilhelm Keyl
German (Resident in UK)
Sir John Lavery
Irish Painter, 1856-1941
Irish painter. The son of an unsuccessful publican, he was orphaned at the age of three and was brought up by relatives, initially in the north of Ireland and then in Ayrshire. He became an apprentice retoucher to a Glasgow photographer and attended the Haldane Academy, Glasgow, in the 1870s. After spending a winter term at Heatherley's School of Art, London, he moved in 1881 to Paris where he studied at the Acad?mie Julian. At this time he was influenced by Jules Bastien-Lepage and painted in a plein-air naturalist style