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 | Anatomy of the Schadels | Leda | Muscles and bone of leg and Hufte | Madonna Litta (detail sdg |
Related Artists:Willem Wissing
Willem Wissing, also known as William Wissing (1656 - 10 September 1687), was a Dutch portrait artist.
He was born in either Amsterdam or The Hague, and studied at The Hague under Willem Doudijns (1630 - 97) and Arnoldus van Ravestyn (1615 - 90). In 1676, he moved to England, where he studied with and assisted Peter Lely. After Lely's death in 1680, Wissing emerged as his most important pupil. Godfrey Kneller was the only contemporary portrait artist in England to rival Wissing. Wissinges royal sitters include Charles II of England, Queen Catharine of Braganza, Prince George of Denmark and James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth.Sir William Beechey
English painter. He was trained as a lawyer before entering the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 1772. He is thought to have studied under Johan Zoffany, and his earliest surviving portraits are small-scale full-lengths and conversation pieces in Zoffanys manner (e.g. The Custance Conversation Piece, c. 1786; priv. col.). Beechey first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1776. In 1782 he moved to Norwich, where he gained several commissions, but he was back in London by 1787. In 1789 he exhibited a portrait of John Douglas, Bishop of Carlisle (London, Lambeth Pal.) that is remarkable for its facility of handling. Beechey would occasionally paint similarly inspired works, but his career is marked by a succession of unflamboyant but competent portraits in the tradition of Joshua Reynolds.Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville
(31 May 1835 - 18 May 1885) was a French Academic painter who studied under Eugene Delacroix. His dramatic and intensely patriotic subjects illustrated episodes from the Franco-Prussian War, the Crimean War, the Zulu War and portraits of soldiers. Some of his works have been collected by the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and by the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
The Last Cartridges, 1873
The Defence of Rorke's Drift, oil on canvas painting by Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville, 1880, Art Gallery of New South Wales. This incident occurred on 22 January 1879, in the Anglo-Zulu War.
La bataille de VillersexelHe was born to wealthy parents at Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais. From school he went to college, where he took his degree of bachelier -lettres. In spite of the opposition of his family he entered the naval school at Lorient, and it was there, in 1856, that his artistic instincts first declared themselves.
After being discouraged by several painters of repute, he was admitted to work in François-Edouard Picot's studio. He did not remain there long, and he was painting by himself when he produced his first picture, The Fifth Battalion of Chasseurs at the Gervais Battery (Malakoff). In 1860 Neuville painted an Episode of the taking of Naples by Garibaldi for the Artists' Club in the rue de Provence, and sent to the Paris Salon in 1861 The Guard Chasseurs in the Trenches of the Mamelon Vert.
He participated in illustrating the Hetzel editions of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. He also illustrated Le Tour du monde and Guizot's History of France. At the same time he painted a number of remarkable pictures: The Attack in the Streets of Magenta by Zouaves and the Light Horse (1864), A Zouave Sentinel (1865), The Battle of San Lorenzo (1867), and Dismounted Cavalry crossing the Tchernaia (1869). In these he showed peculiar insight into military life, but his full power was not reached until after the Franco-Prussian War. He then aimed at depicting in his works the episodes of that war, and began by representing the Bivouac before Le Bourget (1872). His fame spread rapidly, and was increased by The Last Cartridges (1873), memorializing an episode involving the Blue Division of the French marines, in which it is easy to discern the vast difference between the conventional treatment of military subjects, as practised by Horace Vernet, and that of a man who had lived the life that he painted.
In 1874 the Fight on a Railroad was not less successful, and was followed by the Attack on a House at Villersexel (1875) and the Railway Bridge at Styring (1877). In 1878 the painter exhibited (not at the Great Exhibition) Le Bourget, the Surprise at Daybreak, The Intercepted Despatch-bearer, and a considerable number of drawings. He also exhibited in London some episodes of the Zulu War. Fifty thousand people paid to see his impression of The Defence of Rorke's Drift (1880), which the infant Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney paid a large sum to acquire.
In 1881 he was made an officer of the Legion d'honneur for The Cemetery of Saint-Privat and The Despatch-bearer and the "Huns in the Battle of Chalon." During these years Neuville was at work with Édouard Detaille on an important though less artistic work, The Panorama of Rezonville. Neuville died in Paris on May 18, 1885. At the sale of his works the state purchased for the Palais du Luxembourg the Bourget and the Attack on a Barricaded House, with a water-color The Parley, and a drawing of a Turco in Fighting Trim.