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 :. | La Belle Ferronniere | The Annunciation-o | The Madonna of the Carnation | Bacchus | Saint John the Baptist |
Related Artists:Master of the Legend of St. Lucy
(fl. 1480-1510) was an unidentified Early Netherlandish painter who worked in Bruges, now a city in Belgium. His name comes from for an altarpiece in the church of Saint James in Bruges, which is dated 1480 and depicts three scenes from the life of Saint Lucy. Since then, twenty-five to thirty-five paintings have been attributed to the same hand. He may have trained Spanish students at his studio in Bruges. Many of them are characterized by views of the city of Bruges in the background, and can be dated according to the level of construction of its belfry. He may have trained with Dieric Bouts, and was certainly influenced by Bruges' greatest artist at the time, Hans Memling.
Baron Pierre Narcisse Guerin
Paris 1774-Rome 1833
French painter. He won enthusiastic recognition in 1799 for his Marius Sextus (Louvre). A defender of the classicism of J. L. David, he became director of the École de Rome in 1822. He counted among his pupils Delacroix, G??ricault, and Ary Scheffer, who were to launch the romantic school. Jean Barbault
French Painter, 1718-1762, French painter and engraver. A pupil in Paris of Jean Restout II, in 1745 he failed to win the Prix de Rome and at his own expense went to Rome early in 1747. The following year, by which time he was a member of the circle of Paolo Anesi, Philothee-Francois Duflos, Jean-Laurent Legeay and Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Barbault made engravings for the Varie vedute di Roma antica e moderna published in Rome. As a painter he was encouraged by Jean-Francois de Troy, director of the Academie de France, who commissioned from him 20 small pictures representing characters from the Turkish masquerade organized by the pensionnaires for the carnival of 1748, of which 11 survive (Beauvais, Mus. Dept. Oise; Narbonne, Mus. A. & Hist.; Paris, Louvre (see fig.); Venice, Col. Cini; and elsewhere). When, by special favour, he became a pensionnaire at the Acad?mie (1749-53), he made a copy (Lille, Mus. B.-A., destr. 1916) for Louis XIV of Luca Penni's fresco the Baptism of Constantine in the Vatican Stanze (it was then attributed to Raphael). While travelling in Rome, Abel-Fran?ois Poisson de Vandieres, Marquis de Marigny, commissioned a series of Italian Costumes, of which some of the originals or replicas remain (Castres, Mus. Goya; Dijon, Mus. B.-A.; Orleans, Mus. B.-A.; Paris, Louvre). In 1751 Barbault depicted the planned procession of the pensionnaires for the carnival in a frieze-like painting (380*3920 mm), the Masquerade of the Four Corners of the World (Besaneon, Mus. B.-A. & Arch?ol.). Many of Barbault's idealized Roman landscapes date from this period (examples Angers, Mus. B.-A.; Baltimore, MD, Walters A.G.; Madrid, Mus. Cerralbo; Notre Dame, IN, Snite Mus. A.; and elsewhere), but above all he wanted to be a painter in the grand manner, painting St Francois de Sales Placing Jeanne de Chantal under the Protection of St Vincent de Paul (Rome, SS Giovanni e Paolo) for the beatification of Ste Jeanne de Chantal in 1751.