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 :. | Madonna and Child with St Anne and the Young St John | The Baptism of Christ (detail) sg | The Annunciation | Adoration of the Magi | Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani |
Related Artists:Henri Matisse
French Fauvist Painter and Sculptor, 1869-1954
Henri Matisse is considered the most important French artist of the 20th century and, along with Pablo Picasso, one of the most influential modernist painters of the last century. Matisse began studying drawing and painting in the 1890s. A student of the masters of Post-Impressionism, Matisse later made a reputation for himself as the leader of a group of painters known as Les Fauves. An ironic label given to them by a critic, the name reflected Matisse's aggressive strokes and bold use of primary colors. In 1905 Matisse gained sudden fame with three paintings, including Woman with the Hat, purchased by the wealthy American ex-patriot Gertrude Stein. Beyond painting, he worked with lithographs and sculpture, and during World War II he did a series of book designs. Later in his career he experimented with paper cutouts and designed decorations for the Dominican chapel in Vence, France. Along with Picasso, Antoine-Francois Callet
(1741-1823, Paris), generally known as Antoine Callet, was a French painter of portraits and allegorical works, who acted as official portraitist to Louis XVI.
He won the grand prix de Rome in 1764 with Cleobis et Biton conduisent le char de leur mere au temple de Junon (Kleobis and Biton dragging their mother's cart to the temple of Juno). He was accepted by the Academie des beaux arts in 1779, with his entry piece being a portrait of the comte d'Artois, and received with his allegory Le printemps (Spring) in 1781. He exhibited at the Salon from 1783 onwards. He painted the centre of the ceiling of the grande galerie of the palais du Luxembourg, with a composition entitled L'Aurore (Aurora). Under the French Consulate and the First French Empire he painted several more allegories, including an Allegorie du dix-huit brumaire ou la France sauvee (Allegory of 18 Brumaire, or France saved - 1801, château de Versailles) and an Allegorie de la bataille d'Austerlitz (Allegory of the Battle of Austerlitz - 1806, château de Versailles).
Andre Bauchant (April 24 1873 -- August 12 1958) was a French 'naive' painter whose compositions were often informed by mythology and Classical History. He originally worked as a market gardener, after his father, before serving in World War I. He later trained as a mapmaker before deciding on a career as an artist.
Bauchant was born in Chateau-Renault, Indre-et-Loire. His first exhibit was in 1920 at the Salon d'Automne. In 1927 he was commissioned by Diaghilev to design sets for Stravinsky's Apollon Musagete.