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 :. | Virgin of the Rocks | The Annunciation | Mona Lisa | Annunciation (detail) sg77 | Study of an old man |
Related Artists:August Ludwig Erhard Boll
painted Blick auf den Genfer See in 1852E.Claus
Giovanni Battista Piazzetta
(also called Giambattista Piazzetta or Giambattista Valentino Piazzetta) (February 13, 1682 or 1683 ?C April 28, 1754) was an Italian rococo painter of religious subjects and genre scenes.
Piazzetta was born in Venice, the son of a sculptor Giacomo Piazzetta, from whom he had early training in wood carving. Starting in 1697 he studied with the painter Antonio Molinari. By Piazzetta's account, he studied under Giuseppe Maria Crespi while living in Bologna in 1703-05, although there is no record by Crespi of formal tutelage. Piazzetta did find inspiration in Crespi's art, in which the chiaroscuro of Caravaggio was transformed into an idiom of graceful charm. He was also greatly impressed by the altarpieces created by another Bolognese painter of a half-century earlier, Guercino.
Around 1710, he returned to Venice. There he won recognition as a leading artist despite his limited output and his unassuming nature, but he ultimately was less patronized, both in Venice and especially abroad, than two other eminent stars in Venetian late-Baroque/Rococo, Ricci and Tiepolo. These two painters had a luminous palette and facile ease that allowed them to carpet meters of ceiling with frescoes, although with a superficiality and glamor that is absent from Piazzetta's darker and more intimate depictions. Nonetheless,Tiepolo, who collaborated with Piazzetta on some projects, was greatly influenced by the older artist; in turn, the luminosity and brilliance of Tiepolo's palette would influence Piazzetta in his later years.
Piazzetta created an art of warm, rich color and a mysterious poetry. He often depicted peasantry, even if often in a grand fashion. He was highly original in the intensity of color he sometimes used in his shadows, and in the otherworldly quality he gave to the light which throws part of a composition into relief. The gestures and glances of his protagonists hint at unseen dramas, as in one of his best-known paintings, The Soothsayer(1740, now in Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice). He brought similar elusiveness to works of a religious nature, such as the Sotto in su Glory of St. Dominic in the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo.
Also notable are his many carefully rendered drawings of half-length figures or groups of heads. Usually in charcoal or black chalk with white heightening on gray paper, these are filled with the same spirit that animates his paintings, and were purchased by collectors as independent works. He also produced engravings.
In 1750 Piazzetta became the first director of the newly founded Scuola di Nudo, and he devoted himself in the last few years of his life to teaching. He was elected a member of the Bolognese Accademia Clementina in 1727. Among the painters in his studio were Domenico Maggiotto, Francesco Dagiu (il Capella), John Henry Tischbien the Elder, Egidio Dall'Oglio, and Antonio Marinetti. Among younger painters who emulated his style are Giulia Lama, Federico Bencovich, and Francesco Polazzo (1683?C1753). He died in Venice in 1754.