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 Last Supper (detail) sg | The Virgin and St Anne (mk08) | Studies of horses | Head of a girl | Madonna with a Flower (Madonna Benois) g |
Related Artists:Carl Wilhelmson
Swedish painter and lithographer. Wilhelmson trained first as a commercial lithographer in Göteborg. In 1886 he enrolled as a student of decorative painting at Valand College of Art where his teacher was Carl (Olof) Larsson. In 1888, having obtained a travel grant, he went to Leipzig to study lithographic technique. From 1890 to 1896 he lived in Paris, where he worked as a lithographer and commercial artist and studied at the Academie Julian. Wilhelmson's preferred subject-matter was the coastal landscape of Bohuslen and the people of its little fishing villages with their huddles of wooden houses. There is no trace of ethnography in his depictions of local life; they are full of serious realism and display a sensitive insight into the perilous life of the fishermen, with which he had been familiar since childhood. In the Village ShopFrank Blackwell Mayer
American Painter, 1827-1899Cecelia Beaux
William Holbrook Beard Gallery
Beard was born in Painesville, Ohio. He studied abroad, and in 1861 moved to New York City, where in 1862 he became a member of the National Academy of Design.
He was a prolific worker and a man of much inventiveness and originality, though of modest artistic endowment. His humorous treatment of bears, cats, dogs, horses and monkeys, generally with some human occupation and expression, usually satirical, gave him a great vogue at one time, and his pictures were largely reproduced.
His brother, James Henry Beard (1814-1893), was also a painter.