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 :. | Mona Lisa | Mona Lisa | Madonna with the Yarnwinder after 1510 | The Last Supper | The Annunciation |
Related Artists:ELINGA, Pieter Janssens
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1623-ca.1682Helene Schjerfbeck
Finnish Painter, 1862-1946
.Finnish painter. In 1873 she began to study at the Finnish Art Society drawing school in Helsinki. On the death of her father in 1876, she was forced to seek help to finance her studies. In 1877 she went to the private academy of Adolf von Becker (1831-1909) in Helsinki, and her work was first shown in public in 1879. In the autumn of 1880 she went to Paris to study at the Academie Trelat de Vigne under Leon Bonnat and Jean-Leon Gereme and in 1881 moved to the Academie Colarossi, studying under Gustave Courtois ( fl 1852-1908) and Raphael Collin (1850-1916). In Brittany that summer, she painted a large oil, A Boy Feeding his Little SisterHenry William Beechey
Sir Henry William Beechey (12 December 1753 - 28 January 1839), English portrait-painter, was born at Burford, the son of William Beechey (*1732) and Hannah Read (*c1732).
He was originally meant for a conveyancer, but a strong love for painting induced him to become a pupil at the Royal Academy in 1772. Some of his smaller portraits gained him considerable reputation; he began to be employed by the nobility, and in 1793 became associate of the Royal Academy. In the same year he was made portrait-painter to Queen Charlotte. His work has been described as relatively sober.
He painted the portraits of the members of the royal family, and of nearly all the most famous or fashionable persons of the time. What is considered his finest production is a review of cavalry, a large composition in the foreground of which he introduced portraits of George III, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, surrounded by a brilliant staff on horseback. Among his portraits were those of Lord Nelson, John Kemble, and Sarah Siddons.
George III and the Prince of Wales reviewing troops was painted in 1798, and obtained for the artist the honour of knighthood, and his election as RA (member of the Academy). This painting was destroyed in the 1992 Windsor Castle fire.