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 | Virgin of the Rocks (mk10) | Madonna Benois Madonna with a Flower | Last Supper | Portrait of Ginerva de'Benci |
Related Artists:William Scrots
William (or Guillim) Scrots (or Scrotes or Stretes) (active 1537-1553) was a painter of the Tudor court and an exponent of the Mannerist style of painting in the Netherlands. He is first heard of when appointed a court painter to Mary of Habsburg, Regent of the Netherlands, in 1537. In England, he followed Hans Holbein as King's Painter to Henry VIII in 1546, with a substantial annual salary of £62 10s, over twice as much as Holbein's thirty pounds a year. He continued in this role during the reign of the boy king Edward VI. His salary was stopped on Edward's death in 1553, after which it is not known what became of him, though it is presumed he left England.
Edward VI, attributed to Scrots, Hampton Court.
Portrait of Edward VI in distorted perspective, 1546.Little more is known of Scrots than that his paintings showed an interest in ingenious techniques and detailed accessories. Scrots was paid 50 marks in 1551 for three "great tables", two of which were portraits of Edward delivered to the ambassadors Thomas Hoby and John Mason as gifts for foreign monarchs, and the third a "picture of the late earle of Surrey attainted." Two full-length portraits of Edward VI in a pose similar to that of Holbein's portrait of his father, one now in the Royal Collection (left) and another now in the Louvre (below), are attributed to Scrots and are likely to be these two paintings. Scrots also painted an anamorphic profile of Edward VI, distorted so that it is impossible to view it normally except from a special angle to the side. This optical trick is similar to that used by Holbein in his painting The Ambassadors and in contemporary portraits of Francis I and Ferdinand I. Later, when the painting was exhibited at Whitehall Palace in the winter of 1591-92, it created a sensation, and important visitors were all taken to see it.Millet, Francis David
American, 1846-1912Hermann August Cappelen
(1 May 1827 - 8 March 1852) was a Norwegian painter. Cappelen was best known for his melancholic, dramatic and romantic landscape compositions.
Hermann August Cappelen was born in Skien, Norway. He was the son of Diderik von Cappelen (1795-1866) and Margaret Noble Severine Henriette Løvenskiold (1796-1866). Both the Løvenskiold and Cappelen families were prominent Norwegian family of merchants, land owners, civil servants and politicians. His family were the owners of prominent iron works and various other properties. His grandfather, Diderik von Cappelen (1761-1828), was member of the Norwegian Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll in 1814.
He grew up at Holden, a manor in Ulefoss in the Grenland district of the county of Telemark. After school graduation in Skien in 1845, he went to Christiania to take another exam at the University of Oslo. He subsequently went to Dusseldorf, where he studied with Hans Gude. Cappelen was a student at Kunstakademie Dusseldorf under Johann Wilhelm Schirmer in landscape painting class (1846-1850).