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 master of the Pala Sforzesca attributed | Saint jean-Baptiste | Madchenkopf with confused hair | Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci sg | The Refectory with the Last Supper after restoration g |
Related Artists:Bartolomeo Manfredi
(baptised 25 August 1582 - 12 December 1622) was an Italian painter, a leading member of the Caravaggisti (followers of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio) of the early 17th century.
Manfredi was born in Ostiano, near Cremona. He may have been a pupil of Caravaggio in Romeat his famous libel trial in 1603 Caravaggio mentioned that a certain Bartolomeo, accused of distributing scurrilous poems attacking Caravaggio's detested rival Baglione, had been a servant of his. Certainly the Bartolomeo Manfredi known to art history was a close follower of Caravaggio's innovatory style, with its enhanced chiaroscuro and insistence on naturalism, with a gift for story-telling through expression and body-language.
Caravaggio in his brief careerehe rocketed to fame in 1600, was exiled from Rome in 1606, and was dead by 1610 had a profound effect on the younger generation of artists, particularly in Rome and Naples. And of these Caravaggisti (followers of Caravaggio), Manfredi seems in turn to have been the most influential in transmitting the master's legacy to the next generation, particularly with painters from France and the Netherlands who came to Italy. Unfortunately no documented, signed works by Manfredi survive, and several of the forty or so works now attributed to him were formerly believed to be by Caravaggio. The steady disentangling of Caravaggio from Manfredi has made clear that it was Manfredi, rather than his master, who was primarily responsible for popularising low-life genre painting among the second generation of Caravaggisti.
Manfredi was a successful artist, able to keep his own servant before he was thirty years old, "a man of distinguished appearance and fine behaviour" according to the biographer Giulio Mancini, although seldom sociable. He built his career around easel paintings for private clients, and never pursued the public commissions upon which wider reputations were built, but his works were widely collected in the 17th century and he was considered Caravaggio's equal or even superior. His Mars Chastising Cupid offers a tantalising hint at a lost Caravaggio: the master promised a painting on this theme to Mancini, but another of Caravaggio's patrons, Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, had taken it, and Mancini therefore commissioned Manfredi to paint another for him, which Mancini considered Manfredi's best work.
Manfredi died in Rome in 1622. Gerard Seghers (or Segers; 1589-1651) was one of his pupils
known in Italian as Giovanni Florio, was an accomplished linguist and lexicographer, a royal language tutor at the Court of James I, a probable close friend and influence on William Shakespeare. He was also the translator of Montaigne.Henry Thomas Alken
1785-1851, Painter and engraver, son of Samuel Alken. He worked in London and the provinces and was prolific in a variety of media while unadventurous in his range of subject-matter. Early instruction by the miniature painter J. T. Beaumont (1774-1851) helped to give a certain graphic precision