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 :. | Flower Studies | The Virgin and Child with Anne (mk05) | Last Supper | Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist | Mona lisa |
Related Artists:John Mather
Australian painter, etcher and teacher.
Jacques Daret (c. 1404 - c. 1470) was an Early Netherlandish painter born in Tournai (now in Belgium), where he would spend much of his life. Daret spent 15 years as a pupil in the studio of Robert Campin, alongside Rogier or Rogelet de le Pasture (assumed by scholars to be Rogier van der Weyden, both words meaning "field" or "meadow" in French and Dutch respectively), and afterwards became a master in his own right. He became a favorite of the Burgundian court, and his patron for 20 years was the abbot of St. Vaast in Arras, Jean de Clercq.
Though many works of Daret are mentioned in Jean de Clercq's account books, only four panels of Daret's works are known to have survived: all are from the so-called Arras Altarpiece or Saint-Vaast Altarpiece, painted for the abbot between 1433 and 1435. These paintings show a striking resemblance to the Flemish realism of the Master of Flemalle. This is argued by most scholars to be evidence that the Master of Flemalle was Daret's master, Robert Campin.
Daret features rather more in the art historical debates over his period than the merit of his work alone would justify because he is relatively well-documented, and in particular can be securely identified as the creator of the altarpiece mentioned above, as well as a pupil of Campin. The stylistic similarity between him and the Master of Flemalle is therefore crucial evidence in the identification of the latter with Campin. This then becomes an important connection in establishing a link between Robert Campin/the Master of Flemalle and his other major pupil, Rogier van der Weyden.
active in Florence 1320-1348
was an early Italian renaissance painter and apprentice of Giotto. He was also influenced by the Sienese art of Lorenzetti. Daddi's birth date remains unknown. He is first mentioned in 1312. He focused on religious motifs and altarpieces. A triptych he painted in 1328 is in the Uffizi, and there are several panels in National Gallery of Art and the Walters Art Gallery. Daddi became the leading painter of Florence during his generation. His last work dates from 1347,