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 :. | Profile of a man | Aurelio Luini attributed, profile of an old man | Annunciation (detail) st | Study fur the adoration of the Konige | The Virgin and Child with St Anne (detail) s |
Related Artists:Frits Thaulow
Norwegian Impressionist Painter, 1847-1906
.Norwegian painter and engraver. Originally wanting to become a marine painter he studied at the art academy in Copenhagen (1870-73) as well as with the Danish marine specialist C. F. S?rensen (1818-79). He spent two winters at Karlsruhe (1873-4, 1874-5) as the pupil of Hans Gude and then went to Paris, where he spent much of the period 1875-9. His marines and coastal pictures, some of which were accepted at the Paris Salon, were only moderately successful, but he acquired a fair knowledge of contemporary French Realist art and felt that Norwegian artists should learn from it.Friedrich Johann Overbeck
German religious painter. Expelled from the Vienna Academy because of his opposition to its classicism, he went to Rome and with Peter von Cornelius, Veit, Schadow-Godenhaus, and others, formed the group known as the Nazarenes. His first real successes were his frescoes for the Casa Bartholdy (now in Berlin) and for the Villa Massimo. Among his notable paintings are Christ Entry into Jerusalem and Christ Agony in the Garden. Overbeck sought to make his art serve religion. His influence was due more to the purity of his doctrine than to the power of his work, which is often lacking in pictorial appeal and in color. Aert de Gelder
Dutch painter and draughtsman. He was the son of a wealthy Dordrecht family and probably became a pupil of Samuel van Hoogstraten in 1660. Apparently on the advice of van Hoogstraten, de Gelder moved to Amsterdam and entered Rembrandt workshop, possibly c. 1661. It is commonly assumed that he stayed there about two years. He was Rembrandt last pupil. After completing his apprenticeship, de Gelder returned to Dordrecht, where he worked for the rest of his long career. Considering that de Gelder was active for more than half a century, his output of just over 100 paintings seems low, probably because he was financially independent. Of those paintings accepted as by him, only 22 are dated, creating considerable problems in establishing a chronology.