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 Fotus in the Uterus | Madonna with the Yarnwinder tw | Mona Lisa | Portrat of a musician | The master of the Pala Sforzesca attributed |
Related Artists:JORDAENS, Jacob
Flemish painter (b. 1593, Antwerpen, d. 1678, Antwerpen).
Flemish painter, tapestry designer and draughtsman. In the context of 17th-century Flemish art, he emerges as a somewhat complicated figure. His oeuvre, the fruit of a continual artistic development, is characterized by great stylistic versatility, to which the length of his career contributed. His religious, mythological and historical representations evolved from the rhetorical prolixity of the Baroque into a vernacular, sometimes almost caricatural, formal idiom. The lack of idealistic treatment in his work is undoubtedly the factor that most removed Jordaens's art from that of his great Flemish contemporaries Rubens and van Dyck. Jordaens's officially commissioned works included many paintings in which the sublimity of the subject-matter clashed with the vulgarity of some of his figures. Unlike Rubens and van Dyck, both of whom were knighted in the course of their careers, Jordaens was, in fact, completely ignored by the courts of Spain and BrusselsPierre-Nicolas Legrand
(Pont-l'Éveque, 1758 - Bern, 1829) was a French painter.
Pupil of Descamps at the ole des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, along with Beljambe and Lequeu, Legrand won a second extraordinary prize in drawing, aged only 15. In 1782, he went to the ole des Beaux-Arts de Paris.
Circa 1794, Legrand de Serant departed for Bern, where he produced a variety of drawings for local notabilities and illustrated a novel by Isabelle de Charriere.
Legrand de Serant was a member of the Academie de Lille.
French Painter, 1836-1902
French painter, printmaker and enamellist. He grew up in a port, an experience reflected in his later paintings set on board ship. He moved to Paris c. 1856 and became a pupil of Louis Lamothe and Hippolyte Flandrin. He made his Salon d?but in 1859 and continued to exhibit there successfully until he went to London in 1871. His early paintings exemplify Romantic obsessions with the Middle Ages, while works such as the Meeting of Faust and Marguerite (exh. Salon 1861; Paris. Mus. d'Orsay) and Marguerite at the Ramparts (1861; untraced, see Wentworth, 1984, pl. 8) show the influence of the Belgian painter Baron Henri Leys. In the mid-1860s Tissot abandoned these tendencies in favour of contemporary subjects, sometimes with a humorous intent, as in Two Sisters (exh. Salon 1864; Paris, Louvre) and Beating the Retreat in the Tuileries Gardens (exh. Salon 1868; priv. col., see Wentworth, 1984, pl. 45). The painting Young Ladies Looking at Japanese Objects (exh. Salon 1869; priv. col., see Wentworth, 1984, pl. 59) testifies to his interest in things Oriental, and Picnic (exh. Salon 1869; priv. col., see 1984 exh. cat., fig. 27), in which he delved into the period of the Directoire, is perhaps influenced by the Goncourt brothers. Tissot re-created the atmosphere of the 1790s by dressing his characters in historical costume.