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 :. | Bacchus (mk05) | Portrait of a Lady at the Court of Milan (san05) | Portrait of Cecilia Gallarani | The Battle of Anghiari | Portrait of Ginerva de'Benci-u |
Related Artists:Thomas Webster
(March 10, 1800 - September 23, 1886), was an English genre painter, who lived for many years at the artists' colony in Cranbrook.
Webster was born in Ranelagh Street, Pimlico, London. His father was a member of the household of George III, and the son, having shown an aptitude for music, became a chorister, first at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, then the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace in London. He abandoned music for painting, however, and in 1821 was admitted as a student to the Royal Academy, exhibiting, in 1824, portraits of "Mrs Robinson and Family." In the following year he won first prize in the school of painting.
In Sickness and Health (1843)In 1825, also, Webster exhibited 'Rebels shooting a Prisoner,' at the Suffolk Street Gallery - the first of a series of pictures of schoolboy life for which he subsequently became known - . In 1828 he exhibited 'The gunpowder Plot' at the Royal Academy, and in 1829 'The Prisoner' and 'A Foraging Party aroused' at the British Institution. These were followed by numerous other pictures of school and village life at both galleries. In 1840 Webster was elected an associate of the Royal Academy (ARA), and in 1846 a Royal Academician (RA) academician. He continued to be a frequent exhibitor till 1876, when he retired from the academy. He exhibited his own portrait in 1878, and 'Released from School,' his last picture, in 1879.
In 1856 Webster was photographed at 'The Photographic Institute', London, by Robert Howlett, as part of a series of portraits of 'fine artists'. The picture was among a group exhibited at the Art Treasures Exhibition in Manchester in 1857.
From 1835 to 1856 Webster resided at The Mall, Kensington, but the last thirty years of his life were spent at the artists' colony in Cranbrook, Kent, where he died on 23 Sept. 1886.
painted Am Lehnitzsee bei Neu-Fahrland in 1899Jan van Haensbergen
(1642-1705) was a Dutch Golden Age painter.
He was registered in the Utrecht Guild of St. Luke in 1668 and in 1669 he was registered in the Confrerie Pictura in The Hague, where he worked until he died.According to Houbraken he was a student of Cornelius van Poelenburgh, and though he was quite successful in imitating his master's style, he switched to portraits since he could make a comfortable living that way.Though he is considered by some to have been born in Utrecht, he signed his name 'Joh. Haensbergh Gorco fecit', which leads historians to conclude he was from Gorinchem. His portraits show the influence of Caspar Netscher.