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 Annunciation | Madonna with the Yarnwinder after 1510 | Madonna of the Yarnwinder | The Last Supper (detail) sg | Madonna in the rock grotto |
Related Artists:Nicolaes Knupfer
(1609 - 1655) was a Dutch Golden Age painter.
Knepfer was trained in Leipzig, where according to Houbraken he was apprenticed to Emanuel Nysen. He then moved to Magdeburg where he found work making brushes for artists. He stayed there until 1630, and then moved to Utrecht to work with Abraham Bloemaert. He lived with him for two years and then established his own studio in Utrecht, where in 1637 he became a visiting member of the Guild of St. Luke. He worked on the decorations of the castle Kronborg in Denemarken, and painted figures in the landscapes of Jan Both and Jan Baptist Weenix. Knepfer was a successful teacher, whose students were great painters after him, such as Jan Steen, Gabriel Metsu, Ary de Vois, and Pieter Crijnse Volmarijn.
French ,1867-Berck-sur-Mer 1910
Anthony Van Dyck
Anthony Van Dyck Locations
Flemish painter and draughtsman, active also in Italy and England. He was the leading Flemish painter after Rubens in the first half of the 17th century and in the 18th century was often considered no less than his match. A number of van Dyck studies in oil of characterful heads were included in Rubens estate inventory in 1640, where they were distinguished neither in quality nor in purpose from those stocked by the older master. Although frustrated as a designer of tapestry and, with an almost solitary exception, as a deviser of palatial decoration, van Dyck succeeded brilliantly as an etcher. He was also skilled at organizing reproductive engravers in Antwerp to publish his works, in particular The Iconography (c. 1632-44), comprising scores of contemporary etched and engraved portraits, eventually numbering 100, by which election he revived the Renaissance tradition of promoting images of uomini illustri. His fame as a portrait painter in the cities of the southern Netherlands, as well as in London, Genoa, Rome and Palermo, has never been outshone; and from at least the early 18th century his full-length portraits were especially prized in Genoese, British and Flemish houses, where they were appreciated as much for their own sake as for the identities and families of the sitters.