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,completed (mk08) | The Annunciation | The Fotus in the Uterus | Portrats of two men | Portrait de Mona Lisa dit La joconde |
Related Artists:John Frederick Kensett
American Hudson River School Painter, 1816-1872
He attended school at Cheshire Academy, and studied engraving with his immigrant father, Thomas Kensett, and later with his uncle, Alfred Dagget. He worked as engraver in the New Haven area until about 1838, after which he went to work as a bank note engraver in New York City. In 1840, along with Asher Durand and John William Casilear, Kensett traveled to Europe in order to study painting. There he met and traveled with Benjamin Champney. The two sketched and painted throughout Europe, refining their talents. During this period, Kensett developed an appreciation and affinity for 17th century Dutch landscape painting. Kensett and Champney returned to the United States in 1847. After establishing his studio and settling in New York, Kensett traveled extensively throughout the Northeast and the Colorado Rockies as well as making several trips back to Europe. Kensett is best known for his landscape of upstate New York and New England and seascapes of coastal New Jersey, Long Island and New England. He is most closely associated with the so-called "second generation" of the Hudson River School. Along with Sanford Robinson Gifford, Fitz Hugh Lane, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Martin Johnson Heade and others, the works of the "Luminists," as they came to be known, were characterized by unselfconscious, nearly invisible brushstrokes used to convey the qualities and effects of atmospheric light. It could be considered the spiritual, if not stylistic, cousin to Impressionism. Such spiritualism stemmed from Transcendentalist philosophies of sublime nature and contemplation bringing one closer to a spiritual truth.Moritz Daniel Oppenheim
(January 7, 1800, Hanau, Germany - February 26, 1882, Frankfurt am Main) was a German painter who is often regarded as the first Jewish painter of the modern era. His work was informed by his cultural and religious roots at a time when many of his German Jewish contemporaries chose to convert. Oppenheim is considered by the scholar Ismar Schorsch to be in sympathy with the ideals of the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement, because he remained "fair to the present" without denying his past.
Oppenheim was born to Orthodox Jewish parents at Hanau, Germany in 1800; he died at Frankfurt am Main in 1882. His niece was the wife of student and fellow painter Benjamin Prins, Rosa Benari.
He received his first lessons in painting from Westermayer, in Hanau, and entered the Munich Academy of Arts at the age of seventeen. Later he visited Paris, where Jean-Baptiste Regnault became his teacher, and then went to Rome, where he studied with Bertel Thorwaldsen, Barthold Georg Niebuhr, and Friedrich Overbeck. There he studied the life of the Jewish ghetto and made sketches of the various phases of its domestic and religious life, in preparation for several large canvases which he painted upon his return to Germany. In 1825 he settled at Frankfurt, and shortly after exhibited his painting David Playing Before Saul, to see which a great number of admirers from all parts of Europe visited his studio. In 1832, at the instance of Goethe, Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach conferred upon him the honorary title of professor.
Isaac van Ostade
(bapt. June 2, 1621, Haarlem - buried October 16, 1649, Haarlem) was a Dutch genre and landscape painter.
Van Ostade began his studies under his brother, Adriaen, with whom he remained till 1641, when he started his own practice. At an early period he felt the influence of Rembrandt, and this is apparent in a Slaughtered Pig of 1639, in the gallery of Augsburg. He soon found a style more suited to his own inclinations. He produced pictures in 1641-1642 on the lines of his brother - amongst these, the Five Senses, which Adrian afterwards represented by a Man reading a Paper, a Peasant tasting Beer, a Rustic smearing his Sores with Ointment and a Countryman sniffing at a Snuff-box. A specimen of Isaac's work at this period may be seen in the Laughing Boor with a Pot of Beer, in the museum of Amsterdam; the cottage interior, with two peasants and three children near a fire, in the Berlin museum; a Concert, with people listening to singers accompanied by a piper and flute player, and a Boor stealing a Kiss from a Woman, in the Lacaze collection at the Louvre.
The interior at Berlin is lighted from a casement in the same Rembrandtesque style as Adrian's interior of 1643 at the Louvre. He received low prices for this kind of painting, in which he could only remain subordinate to his brother. Gradually he abandoned Adrian's cottage subjects for landscapes in the fashion of Esaias van de Velde and Salomon van Ruysdael. Once only, in 1645, he reverted to the earlier mode, when he produced the Slaughtered Pig, with a boy puffing out a bladder, in the museum of Lille.
Isaac's progress in his new path was greatly facilitated by his previous experience as a figure painter; and, although he now selected his subjects either from village high streets or frozen canals, he gave fresh life to the scenes by depicting animated groups of people with a refined and searching study of picturesque contrasts. He did not live long enough to bring his art to the highest perfection. He died on 16 October 1649 having painted about 400 pictures (see H de Groot, 1910).
The first manifestation of Isaac's surrender of Adrian's style is apparent in 1644 when the skating and sledging scenes were executed which we see in the Lacaze collection and the galleries of the Hermitage, Antwerp and Lille. Three of these examples bear the artists name, spelled Isack van Ostade, and the dates of 1644 and 1645. The roadside inns, with halts of travellers, form a compact series from 1646 to 1649. This is the last form of Isaac's art and has very distinct peculiarities. The air which pervades his composition is warm and sunny, yet mellow and hazy, as if the sky were veiled with a vapour coloured by moor smoke. The trees are rubbings of umber, in which the prominent foliage is tipped with touches hardened in a liquid state by amber varnish mediums. The same principle applied to details such asglazed bricks or rents in the mud lining of cottages gives an unreal and conventional stamp to them.
These quirks are overcome by his broad contrasts of light and shade and the masterly figures of horses, riders, travellers, rustics, quarrelling children, dogs, poultry and cattle. A favorite place is always given to the white horse, which seems as invariable an accompaniment as the grey in the skirmishes and fairs of Philip Wouwerman.
Isaac displays the best qualities in winter scenes. The absence of foliage, the crisp atmosphere and the calm air of cold January days, unsullied by smoke or vapour, preclude the use of the brown tinge, and leave the painter no choice but to ring the changes with a great variety of opal tints. Then the figures emerge with masterly effect on the light background. Amongst the roadside inns it is worth noting those in the collections of Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery, London, the Wallace Collection and Holford collections in England, the Louvre, Berlin, Hermitage and Rotterdam museums and the Rothschild collection at Vienna. The finest of the ice scenes is the famous one at the Louvre.