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-o | The Annunciation d | Lady with Emine | Bacchus (mk05) | Adoration of the Magi |
Related Artists:Juan Manuel Blanes
(June 8, 1830 - April 15, 1901) was a noted Uruguayan painter of the Realist school.
Blanes was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1830. He was raised by his mother, with whom he relocated to the countryside in his early teens. Blanes took an interest in drawing at this point, and shortly afterwards, was hired as an illustrator for a Montevideo newsdaily, El Defensor de la Independencia Americana. Earning extra income with watercolors, he returned to his mother and, in 1854, established his first atelier.
He married Marea Linari, and in 1855, the couple settled in Salto, where he worked as a portrait painter. They relocated to Concepcien del Uruguay (across the Uruguay River, in Argentina) in 1857, and Blanes was commissioned by Argentine President Justo Jose de Urquiza to complete a number of portraits, allegories and landscapes to grace his nearby estancia, the Palacio San Jose. Returning to Montevideo in 1861, the talented painter obtained a scholarship from the Uruguayan government, and with it, traveled with his family to Florence, Italy, where he studied under Antonio Ciseri until 1864.
The experience became a valuable calling card for Blanes, who became of Uruguay's most sought-after portraiteurs. The 1871 outbreak of a yellow fever epidemic in Buenos Aires inspired his first renowned work, which he exhibited to acclaim in the recovering city. His 1872 portrait of the Argentine War of Independence hero, General Jose de San Marten (The Review in Rancagua), was also a success in Buenos Aires, and Blanes was invited to Chile to display the historic depiction.Luigi Crosio
(1835-1915) was an Italian painter who lived and worked in Turin, Italy. He died in Turin and is recorded as having been born in Alba, but the town of Aqua a few miles north of Alba claims Crosio was born there.
He attended the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arte in Turin. His immediate work afterwards tilted towards commercial paintings, but thereafter he specialised in genre painting with romantic 18th century scenes and portraits or period characters or Pompeian scenes. He also liked the opera and depicted several scenes from popular operas. He was also listed as a lithographer and was involved in publishing books and images.
He had several daughters and one of them, Carola Crosio, married the famous mathematician Giuseppe Peano (of Peano axioms fame) in 1887.
In 1898 he painted the famous Refugium Peccatorum Madonna (i.e. Refuge of Sinners Madonna) which was later also called Mother Thrice Admirable Madonna.Albert Bierstadt
German-born American Hudson River School Painter, 1830-1902
Bierstadt was born in Solingen, Germany. His family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1833. He studied painting with the members of the D??sseldorf School in D??sseldorf, Germany from 1853 to 1857. He taught drawing and painting briefly before devoting himself to painting.
Bierstadt began making paintings in New England and upstate New York. In 1859, he traveled westward in the company of a Land Surveyor for the U.S. government, returning with sketches that would result in numerous finished paintings. In 1863 he returned west again, in the company of the author Fitz Hugh Ludlow, whose wife he would later marry. He continued to visit the American West throughout his career.
Though his paintings sold for princely sums, Bierstadt was not held in particularly high esteem by critics of his day. His use of uncommonly large canvases was thought to be an egotistical indulgence, as his paintings would invariably dwarf those of his contemporaries when they were displayed together. The romanticism evident in his choices of subject and in his use of light was felt to be excessive by contemporary critics. His paintings emphasized atmospheric elements like fog, clouds and mist to accentuate and complement the feel of his work. Bierstadt sometimes changed details of the landscape to inspire awe. The colors he used are also not always true. He painted what he believed is the way things should be: water is ultramarine, vegetation is lush and green, etc. The shift from foreground to background was very dramatic and there was almost no middle distance
Nonetheless, his paintings remain popular. He was a prolific artist, having completed over 500 (possibly as many as 4000) paintings during his lifetime, most of which have survived. Many are scattered through museums around the United States. Prints are available commercially for many. Original paintings themselves do occasionally come up for sale, at ever increasing prices.