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 :. | Raffaello Sanzio named Raffael Portrat of Lorenzo de Medici | Portrat of a musician | The Portinari Altarpiece | The Verkundigung | Annunciation (detail) dg |
Related Artists:William Morris Hunt
William Morris Hunt Gallery
Hunt's father's family were among Vermont's founders and largest landowners; his mother's a family of wealth and prominence in Connecticut. Hunt attended Harvard but withdrew in his junior year.
Following the untimely death of his Congressman father from cholera, Hunt's mother Jane took him and his brothers to Switzerland, the South of France and to Rome, where Hunt studied with Couture in Paris and then came under the influence of Jean-François Millet, from whom he learned the principles of the Barbizon school. The Hunt family remained in Europe for a dozen years.
Afterwards, leaving Paris, he painted and established art schools at Newport, Rhode Island, where he had relatives, Brattleboro, Vermont, Faial Island in the Azores, where he had family connections and finally at Boston, where he painted, taught art and became a popular portrait painter.
The companionship of Millet had a lasting influence on Hunt's character and style, and his work grew in strength, in beauty and in seriousness. He was among the biggest proponents of the Barbizon school in America, and he more than any other turned the rising generation of American painters towards Paris.
On his return in 1855 he painted some of his most handsome canvases, all reminiscent of his life in France and of Millet's influence. Such are The Belated Kid, Girl at the Fountain, Hurdy-Gurdy Boy, and others ?C but the public called for portraits, and it became the fashion to sit for Hunt; among his best paintings of this genre are those of William M. Evarts, Mrs Charles Francis Adams, the Rev. James Freeman Clarke, William H. Gardner, Chief Justice Shaw and Judge Horace Gray.
Sadly, many of Hunt's paintings and sketches, together with five large Millets and other art treasures collected by him in Europe, were destroyed in the Great Boston Fire of 1872.MENGS, Anton Raphael
German Neoclassical Painter, 1728-1779
Painter and writer, brother of Theresia Concordia Mengs. His early career was at the Dresden court; thereafter he worked principally in Rome and Madrid, notably on the frescoes at the Villa Albani and the Palacio Real respectively. As an early exponent of Neo-classicism he produced some impressive classical and religious scenes, though he was most accomplished as a portrait painter. Under the influence of Johann Joachim Winckelmann he also wrote some theoretical works, of which the most important is the Gedanken ber die Schenheit und ber den Geschmack in der Malerey (1762). Although acclaimed during his lifetime
Libri, Girolamo dai
Italian Painter, ca.1474-1555
Illuminator and painter, son of Francesco dai Libri. He was evidently trained by his father, but he received commissions for altarpieces as well as manuscripts. Documents indicate that he lived in Verona all his life, but an early miniature of the Nativity, the only work by him in a series of choir-books almost certainly painted in Ferrara, suggests that he may have spent some time there. Vasari's record that he worked as an illuminator in the monastery of S Salvatore in Candiana (Padua) may be true, as some of Girolamo's surviving miniatures were executed for the abbey. The only record of Girolamo's views on his art occurs in a register of 1544: 'a good and worthy painter must know how to imitate nature well and to feign that which nature makes, and he must be universal in depicting landscapes