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 :. | Saint John the Baptist | Portrait of Mona Lisa,La Gioconda (mk05) | La Gioconda (The Mona Lisa) | The Virgin of the Rocks | Bacchus |
Related Artists:Claude Monet
French Impressionist Painter, 1840-1926
Claude Oscar Monet (14 November 1840 C 5 December 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting.
Claude Monet was born on 14 November 1840 on the fifth floor of 45 rue Laffitte, in the ninth arrondissement of Paris . He was the second son of Claude-Adolphe and Louise-Justine Aubree Monet, both of them second-generation Parisians. On 20 May 1841, he was baptised into the local church parish, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette as Oscar-Claude. In 1845, his family moved to Le Havre in Normandy. His father wanted him to go into the family grocery store business, but Claude Monet wanted to become an artist. His mother was a singer.
On the first of April 1851, Monet entered the Le Havre secondary school of the arts. He first became known locally for his charcoal caricatures, which he would sell for ten to twenty francs. Monet also undertook his first drawing lessons from Jacques-François Ochard, a former student of Jacques-Louis David. On the beaches of Normandy in about 1856/1857 he met fellow artist Eugene Boudin who became his mentor and taught him to use oil paints. Boudin taught Monet "en plein air" (outdoor) techniques for painting.
On 28 January 1857 his mother died. He was 16 years old when he left school, and went to live with his widowed childless aunt, Marie-Jeanne Lecadre.
After several difficult months following the death of Camille on 5 September 1879, a grief-stricken Monet (resolving never to be mired in poverty again) began in earnest to create some of his best paintings of the 19th century. During the early 1880s Monet painted several groups of landscapes and seascapes in what he considered to be campaigns to document the French countryside. His extensive campaigns evolved into his series' paintings.
Camille Monet had become ill with tuberculosis in 1876. Pregnant with her second child she gave birth to Michel Monet in March 1878. In 1878 the Monets temporarily moved into the home of Ernest Hosched, (1837-1891), a wealthy department store owner and patron of the arts. Both families then shared a house in Vetheuil during the summer. After her husband (Ernest Hoschede) became bankrupt, and left in 1878 for Belgium, in September 1879, and while Monet continued to live in the house in Vetheuil; Alice Hosched helped Monet to raise his two sons, Jean and Michel, by taking them to Paris to live alongside her own six children. They were Blanche, Germaine, Suzanne, Marthe, Jean-Pierre, and Jacques. In the spring of 1880 Alice Hosched and all the children left Paris and rejoined Monet still living in the house in Vetheuil. In 1881 all of them moved to Poissy which Monet hated. From the doorway of the little train between Vernon and Gasny he discovered Giverny. In April 1883 they moved to Vernon, then to a house in Giverny, Eure, in Upper Normandy, where he planted a large garden where he painted for much of the rest of his life. Following the death of her estranged husband, Alice Hosched married Claude Monet in 1892.
Eliseu Visconti Gallery
Brazilian painter and decorative artist, of Italian birth. He was taken as an infant from Italy to Rio de Janeiro. In 1884 he began studying in Rio de Janeiro at the Academia Imperial das Belas Artes and the Liceu Imperial de Artes e Of?cios under Victor Meirelles de Lima, Henrique Bernardelli (1837-1946) and Rodolfo Amoedo (1857-1941). He was active in efforts to eliminate the academy's rigid academic discipline. He went to Paris in 1892 and attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Ecole des Arts D?coratifs, where he was taught by Eug?ne-Samuel Grasset. At the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, Visconti won a silver medal for the paintings Youth (1898) and Dance of the Wood Nymphs (1899; both Rio de Janeiro, Mus. N. B.A.). Following the Pre-Raphaelites, his main influences were Botticelli and other painters of the Italian Renaissance, but he was also affected by Grasset and Art Nouveau. On his return to Brazil, among the works exhibited in 1901 in Rio de Janeiro were a series of ceramic objects with Brazilian floral motifs and designs for postage stamps. His florid style began to give way to Impressionism in the stage curtain, circular ceiling panel and proscenium frieze he executed for the Rio de Janeiro Teatro Municipal (1906-7; in situ). In 1906 he became director of painting at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro.John Boyne