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 :. | Study of an apostle | Cecila Gallerani (mk45) | Madonna with the Yarnwinder | Our Lady and St Anne | A full-scale composition of the Virgin and Child with St Anne and the infant St John the Baptist |
Related Artists:PARENZANO, Bernardino
Italian painter, Paduan school (b. ca. 1450, Parenzo, d.
ca. 1500, Vicenza). Jusepe de Ribera
Jusepe de Ribera Galleries
Jusepe de Ribera (January 12, 1591 - 1652) was a Spanish Tenebrist painter and printmaker, also known as Jos?? de Ribera in Spanish and as Giuseppe Ribera in Italian. He was also called by his contemporaries and early writers Lo Spagnoletto, or "the Little Spaniard". Ribera was a leading painter of the Spanish school, although his mature work was all done in Italy.
In his earlier style, founded sometimes on Caravaggio and sometimes on the wholly diverse method of Correggio, the study of Spanish and Venetian masters can be traced. Along with his massive and predominating shadows, he retained from first to last a great strength in local coloring. His forms, though ordinary and sometimes coarse, are correct; the impression of his works gloomy and startling. He delighted in subjects of horror. In the early 1630s his style changed away from strong contrasts of dark and light to a more diffused and golden lighting. Salvator Rosa and Luca Giordano were his most distinguished followers, who may have been his pupils; others were also Giovanni Do, Enrico Fiammingo, Michelangelo Fracanzani, and Aniello Falcone, who was the first considerable painter of battle-pieces.
Among Ribera's principal works could be named "St Januarius Emerging from the Furnace" in the cathedral of Naples; the "Descent from the Cross" in the Certosa, Naples, the "Adoration of the Shepherds" (a late work, 1650), now in the Louvre; the "Martyrdom of St Bartholomew" in the Prado; and the "Pieta" in the sacristy of San Martino, Naples. His mythologic subjects are often as violent as his martyrdoms: for example, "Apollo and Marsyas", with versions in Brussels and Naples, or the "Tityus" in the Prado . The Prado and Louvre contain numbers of his paintings; the National Gallery, London, three. He executed several fine male portraits and a self-portrait. He was an important etcher, the most significant Spanish printmaker before Goya, producing about forty prints, nearly all in the 1620s.Antonio Cioci