Leonardo Da Vinci
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 Annunciation | The Last Supper | The Baptism of Christ | Last Supper | The Virgin of the Rocks |
Related Artists:HALL, Peter Adolf
Swedish painter and collector. In 1753 he attended Uppsala Universitet to study medicine and natural history. In 1755 he went on a study trip abroad, led by his drawing-master Lars Brisman. While in Germany (1756-9) he studied miniature painting with Eichhardt in Berlin and with Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Richard (1725-70) in Hamburg. After this trip, he decided to become a professional portrait painter, and in 1759 he enrolled at the Kungliga Akademi for de Fria Konsterna in Stockholm, studying drawing with the French sculptor Pierre-Hubert Larchaveque (1721-78) and painting with Gustaf Lundberg. He attracted the attention of C. F. Adelcrantz, who in 1766 gained for him a commission for the pastel portrait of Princes Karl and Fredrik Adolf. In that year he also executed a miniature portrait of Crown Prince Gustav on the occasion of his engagement to Princess Sophia Magdalena of Denmark. Also in 1766 he received a royal travel grant to study in Paris, where he developed a completely new technique of miniature painting using sweeping brushwork and a clear and fresh range of colour that allowed for lively characterization. He made exquisite detailed studies of the backgrounds of his paintings, as well as his sitters costumes and their attributes and accessories. His new technique involved applying gouache to the ivory in a manner that allowed the ivory to show through, a method that was particularly successful in depicting drapery. The smooth surface of the ivory also allowed freer brushwork associated with full-scale portraits.BADALOCCHIO, Sisto
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1585-ca.1619
Italian painter and etcher. His formation as an artist took place within the Carracci circle. According to Malvasia, he may have attended the Carracci Academy in Bologna, before returning to Parma in 1600 as the pupil of Agostino Carracci when the latter entered the service of Ranuccio I Farnese, 4th Duke of Parma. After Agostino's death in 1602, Badalocchio and his fellow pupil Giovanni Lanfranco were sent by the Duke to Rome in order to complete their training in the studio of Annibale Carracci, who was then working in the Palazzo Farnese. Badalocchio remained with Annibale until the latter's death in 1609. He participated in most of the projects that occupied the studio assistants during those years, such as the frescoes on the walls of the Galleria in the Palazzo Farnese and those previously in the Herrera Chapel in S Maria di Monserrato, Rome (now detached and divided between Madrid, Prado, and Barcelona, Mus. A. Catalunya), although his precise share in them is still debated. His first signed works are etchings, one (1606) after the antique sculpture of the Laokoon (Rome, Vatican, Mus. Pio-Clementino) and 23 (1607, part of a series of 54 executed in collaboration with Lanfranco) after Raphael's frescoes in the Vatican Logge; they reveal the romanizing character of his training. Yet his independent paintings of this early period reveal the influence of Lanfranco, which was to last throughout his career; the lively play of light and shade suggests his allegiance to Emilian art.
Australian Painter, 1864-1947
Australian painter. After studying in Melbourne under G. F. Folingsby (d 1891), he moved to Europe in 1884 and studied in London under P. H. Calderon and in Paris under Jean-Paul Laurens, who introduced him to the Societe des Artistes Francais in 1887. His early works consisted mainly of mythological subjects and graceful images of pleasant Symbolist landscapes; he defected to the New Salon in 1901 and produced some less decorative works, including images of biblical subjects. A long series of paintings of women followed, but his style again changed abruptly when in 1913 he exhibited at the Salon d'Automne a series of images of dancers, The Rite, that shows the influence of Primitivism. Although not attracted to the avant-garde, Bunny showed an adventurous spirit in his unusual sense of colour, sense of rhythm and witty use of his subjects' poses. He continued to live in Paris and London until 1933.