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 :. | La belle Ferronire dg | Studies fur the adoration of the Konige | Profiles of a young and an old man | The Adoration of the Magi | Landscape in the Arnotal |
Related Artists:LE BRUN, Charles
French painter (b. 1619, Paris, d. 1690, Paris)
French painter and designer. He dominated 17th-century French painting as no other artist; it was not until over a century later, during the predominance of Jacques-Louis David, that artistic authority was again so concentrated in one man. Under the protection of a succession of important political figures, including Chancellor Pierre S?guier, Cardinal Richelieu and Nicolas Fouquet, Le Brun created a series of masterpieces of history and religious painting. For Louis XIV and his chief minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert he executed his greatest work, the royal palace of Versailles: an almost perfect ensemble of architecture, decoration and landscape. After Colbert's death in 1683, he was no longer able to count on prestigious commissions Gavin Hamilton
Scottish Neoclassical Painter, 1723-1798,Scottish painter, archaeologist and dealer, active in Italy. He was educated at Glasgow University and in 1748 arrived in Rome to study portrait painting under Agostino Masucci. He lodged with the architects James Stuart and Nicholas Revett; they probably encouraged him to visit Herculaneum and the recently discovered archaeological site of Pompeii, which had a profound effect on his subsequent career. Convinced that 'the ancients have surpassed the moderns, both in painting and sculpture', Hamilton undertook a systematic study of Classical antiquities during the 1750s and 1760s. In 1751 he was briefly in Scotland, where he painted a full-length portrait of Elizabeth Gunning, Duchess of Hamilton (Lennoxlove, Lothian), in a conventional style derived from van Dyck. He returned to Rome in 1752 and remained there, with the exception of short visits to England, for the rest of his life. In 1755 he was introduced by Anton Raphael Mengs to Johann Joachim Winckelmann, who was to become one of the leading theorists of Neo-classicism. In the same year Hamilton entertained Robert Adam, who studied in Rome from 1755 to 1757. He was to know and encourage almost all the British artists who worked in Rome during the second half of the 18th century. Henry Fuseli, who was not an uncritical admirer, wrote of Hamilton in 1805,Wouterus Verschuur
(11 June 1812 - 4 July 1874) was a Dutch painter of animal subjects - mainly horses - and of landscapes. He is one of the later representatives of Romanticism in Dutch art.
Born to an Amsterdam jeweller, Verschuur received his training from the landscape and cattle painters Pieter Gerardus van Os and Cornelis Steffelaar. As part of this education Verschuur had to copy works by the 17th century painter Philips Wouwerman, like Wouwerman Verschuures subjects consist mostly of stable scenes, landscapes with horses and coastal landscapes.
Showing talent from an early age, at 15 Verschuur had a painting exhibited at the eExhibition of Living Masterse at Amsterdam in 1828. In 1832 and 1833 he won the gold medal at the annual exhibition at Felix Meritis. In 1833 he was appointed a member of the Royal Academy in Amsterdam. In 1839 he joined the artistse society, Arti et Amicitiae. His reputation was also considerable abroad. He was often featured in the annual exhibitions which travelled the large European cities at that time. In 1855 Napoleon III purchased one of his paintings at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.
The popularity of his paintings provided him with sufficient funds to travel widely. He made frequent trips to Gelderland and Brabant and abroad to Switzerland and Germany. In 1874, on one of his trips to Gelderland, he died on July 4 in the town of Vorden. He left behind an oevre of about 400 paintings and over 2000 drawings. Amongst his students were his son, Wouterus Verschuur Jr. and Anton Mauve.