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 Virgin and St Anne (mk08) | The embryo in the Uterus | Madchenkopf with confused hair | The Baptism of Christ | The annunciation |
Related Artists:James Archer
James Archer (1823-1904) was a portrait-painter. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. His best-known work includes children and people in costume as its subjects becoming the first Victorian painter to do children's portraits in period costume. He studied at the Trustee's Academy in Edinburgh under Sir William Allan. At Archer painted chalk portraits, but in 1849 he exhibited his first historical picture 'The Last Supper' at the Royal Scottish Academy. His work after that mostly consisted of scenes taken from literature or legends that were popular at the time, such as Shakespeare and King Arthur. In about 1859 he began to paint a series of Arthurian subjects, including 'La Morte d'Arthur' and 'Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere'. James Archer died in 1904 in Haslemere in Surrey, England, survived by his son and three daughters from his marriage to Jane Clerk.Carl Gustaf Pilo
Swedish Painter, 1711-1793,Swedish painter. His father, Olof Pijhlou (1668-1753), was an artist. Pilo may have travelled to Vienna and Germany, and it is probable that he studied at the Drawing Academy established in Stockholm in 1735. From 1737 he was engaged as a portrait painter by members of the southern Swedish aristocracy (e.g. Baron Malte Ramel; evedskloster, priv. col.). About 1740 he settled in Copenhagen, where he swiftly rose to a position of importance: following the enthusiastic reception of his portrait of Louise of England, the wife of the future Frederick V (Copenhagen, Stat. Mus. Kst, on loan to Amalienborg Castle), he was appointed court painter in 1745 and drawing-master to Crown Prince Christian (later Christian VII) in 1759. Pilo was appointed professor at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen in 1748 and for the next two decades was recognized as the foremost portrait painter in Denmark. Sir Frank Dicksee
Sir Frank Dicksee Location
English painter and illustrator. He studied in the studio of his father, Thomas Francis Dicksee (1819-95), who painted portraits and historical genre scenes; he then entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, where he was granted a studentship in 1871. He won a silver medal for drawing from the Antique in 1872 and a gold medal in 1875 for his painting Elijah confronting Ahab and Jezebel in Naboth Vineyard (untraced), with which he made his debut at the Royal Academy in 1876. He also began to work as an illustrator during the 1870s, contributing to Cassell Magazine, Cornhill Magazine, The Graphic and other periodicals. During the 1880s he was commissioned by Cassell & Co. to illustrate their editions of Longfellow Evangeline (1882), Shakespeare Othello (1890) and Romeo and Juliet (1884).