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 :. | Jacopo Bellini | Mona Lisa | Annunciation (detail) dg | Adoration of the Magi (mk08) | Virgin of the Rocks,completed (mk08) |
Related Artists:Vigilius Eriksen
(b Copenhagen, 2 Sept 1722; d Copenhagen, 23 or 24 May 1783). Danish painter, active also in Russia. He was apprenticed to the portrait painter Johann Salomon Wahl in Copenhagen. In 1755 he competed unsuccessfully for the gold medal at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen with a historical painting, Lot and his Wife (untraced). In a letter he complained that the rules did not allow him to enter a portrait, a genre more suited to his talents. Presumably in 1756 he completed the portraits of the registrar of the royal art collections, Lorenz Spengler and his Wife (Copenhagen, Stat. Mus. Kst). Henri Matisse Prints
French Fauvist Painter and Sculptor, 1869-1954
Henri Matisse (31 December 1869 ?C 3 November 1954) was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid, brilliant and original draughtsmanship. As a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but principally as a painter, Matisse is one of the best-known artists of the 20th century. Although he was initially labeled as a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s, he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.
Around 1904 he met Pablo Picasso, who was 12 years younger than him. The two became life-long friends as well as rivals and are often compared; one key difference between them is that Matisse drew and painted from nature, while Picasso was much more inclined to work from imagination. The subjects painted most frequently by both artists were women and still lifes, with Matisse more likely to place his figures in fully realized interiors. Matisse and Picasso were first brought together at the Paris salon of Gertrude Stein and her companion Alice B. Toklas. During the first decade of the 20th century, Americans in Paris Gertrude Stein, her brothers Leo Stein, Michael Stein and Michael's wife Sarah were important collectors and supporters of Matisse's paintings. In addition Gertrude Stein's two American friends from Baltimore Clarabel and Etta Cone became major patrons of Matisse and Picasso, collecting hundreds of their paintings. The Cone collection is now exhibited in the Baltimore Museum of Art.
His friends organized and financed the Acad??mie Matisse in Paris, a private and non-commercial school in which Matisse instructed young artists. It operated from 1911 until 1917. Hans Purrmann and Sarah Stein were amongst several of his most loyal students.Willem Maris
Dutch Painter, 1844-1910
Brother of Jacob Maris. He received his training as a painter from his brothers, Jacob Maris and Matthijs Maris. Although he briefly attended evening classes at the Academie in The Hague and was advised by the animal painter Pieter Stortenbeker (1828-98), he was basically self-taught; he was the only self-made man in the circle of Hague school artists. In 1862 he visited Oosterbeek where he met Anton Mauve, with whom he established a long friendship. In the same year he first entered a painting, Cows on the Heath (untraced), in the Tentoonstellung van Levende Meesters in Rotterdam. The themes of cows at pasture and ducks by the side of a ditch, which characterized the Dutch polder landscape in summer, became his hallmark. In the following year he exhibited Cows by a Pool (The Hague, Gemeentemus) in The Hague; it received discouraging reviews, as did the picture entered by his brother Matthijs. Painted in 1863, this work already employs Willem main motif and shows his attention to the handling of light (with effects of haze and backlighting).