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 Virgin of the Rocks | The Annunciation | John the Baptist | Pod of cherry and forest strawberry | Flower Studies |
Related Artists:Arthur Ignatius Keller
American , 1866-1924
(16 August 1557 ?C 22 March 1602) was an Italian painter and printmaker. He was the brother of the more famous Annibale and cousin of Lodovico Carracci.
He posited the ideal in nature, and was the founder of the competing school to the more gritty (for lack of a better term) view of nature as expressed by Caravaggio. He was one of the founders of the Accademia degli Incamminati along with his brother, Annibale Carracci, and cousin, Ludovico Carracci. The academy helped propel painters of the School of Bologna to prominence.
Agostino Carracci was born in Bologna, and trained at the workshop of the architect Domenico Tibaldi. Starting from 1574 he worked as a reproductive engraver, copying works of 16th century masters such as Federico Barocci, Tintoretto, Antonio Campi, Veronese and Correggio. He also produced some original prints, including two etchings.
He travelled to Venice (1582, 1587?C1589) and Parma (1586?C1587). Together with Annibale and Ludovico he worked in Bologna on the fresco cycles in Palazzo Fava (Histories of Jason and Medea, 1584) and Palazzo Magnani (Histories of Romulus, 1590?C1592). In 1592 he also painted the Communion of St. Jerome, now in the Pinacoteca di Bologna and considered his masterwork. From 1586 is his altarpiece of the Madonna with Child and Saints, in the National Gallery of Parma.
In 1598 Carracci joined his brother Annibale in Rome, to collaborate on the decoration of the Gallery in Palazzo Farnese. From 1598?C1600 is a triple Portrait, now in Naples, an example of genre painting.
In 1600 he was called to Parma by Duke Ranuccio I Farnese to began the decoration of the Palazzo del Giardino, but he died before it was finished.
Agostino's son Antonio Carracci was also a painter, and attempted to compete with his father's Academy.
George Caleb Bingham
George Caleb Bingham Gallery
George Caleb Bingham (March 20, 1811 ?C July 7, 1879) was an American artist, whose work depicted his view of American life in the frontier lands along the Missouri River. Left to languish in obscurity, Bingham's work was rediscovered in the 1930s and he is now widely considered one of the greatest American painters of the 1800s.
Born in Augusta County, Virginia, Bingham was the second of seven children born to Henry Vest Bingham and Mary Amend. Upon their marriage, Matthias Amend, Mary's father, gave ownership to the family mill, 1,180 acres of land and several slaves to Henry with the agreement that Matthias could live with the family the rest of his life. Henry offered the land and mill as surety for a friend's debt and, when the friend died in 1818, all was lost. George's family soon moved to Franklin, Missouri "where the land was said to be bountiful, fertile and cheap."
Bingham was a self-taught artist. His sole childhood exposure to the field was as a nine-year-old boy, when famed American portraitist Chester Harding visited Franklin looking for business, having recently sketched Daniel Boone in Warren County, Missouri. George assisted Harding during his brief stay, an experience that left a powerful impression.
In 1823, Bingham's father, now judge of Howard County Court, died of malaria on December 26 at the age of thirty-eight. To keep the family going, Mary Bingham opened a school for girls and George, then twelve, worked as school janitor to help keep the family afloat. At age sixteen, Bingham apprenticed with cabinet maker Jesse Green. After Green moved, he apprenticed with another cabinet maker, Justinian Williams. Both tradesmen were Methodist ministers and, while under their tutelage, Bingham studied religious texts, preached at camp meetings and thought about becoming a minister himself. Bingham also considered becoming a lawyer.
However, by age nineteen, Bigham was painting portraits for $20.00 apiece, often completing the works in a single day. He drummed up work in both Franklin and Arrow Rock and, while his painting abilities were still developing, succeeded in impressing his patrons with his strong draftsmanship and ability to capture the likeness of his subject. Soon Bingham attempted to travel to St. Louis to ply his trade but contracted measles, which left him weak and permanently bald.
In 1836, Bingham married Sarah Elizabeth Hutchison, who bore him three children over the subsequent twelve years before dying at the age of twenty-nine. George married twice more, first to Eliza Thomas, who died in a mental institution in 1876, and then to Martha Lykins, who lived until 1890. George's mother, Mary, died in 1851.
By 1838, Bingham was already beginning to make a name for himself as a portrait artist in St. Louis, his studio visited by several prominent local citizens and statesmen, including the lawyer James S. Rollins who was to become a life-long friend. To further his education, George spent three months in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before continuing on to New York City to visit the National Academy of Design exhibition.
Bingham was elected to the Missouri General Assembly in 1848.
From 1856 to 1859, Bingham studied art with the members of the D??sseldorf School in D??sseldorf, Germany. Critics claim that this caused him to abandon the rustic American style in his art. Upon his return, he began painting less, turning to politics in the post-Civil War years and serving as state treasurer and adjutant general. He was also president of the Board of Police Commissioners for Kansas City, Missouri in 1874, appointing the first chief of police there . Toward the end of his life he was a professor of art at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.