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 :. | Madonna of the Rocks | Madonna Benois Madonna with a Flower | Adoration of the Magi | Madonna with a Flower | The Madonna of the Carnation |
Related Artists:Aleksander Gierymski
Warsaw 1850-1901 Rome, Brother of Maks Gierymski. He studied (1867) at the Warsaw Drawing Class, then (1868-73) at the Akademie der Bildenden Kenste in Munich under Georg Hiltensperger (1806-90) and Alexander Strehuber (1814-82), and later under Karl Theodor von Piloty. While in Munich he contributed illustrations to Polish, German and Austrian magazines. On a visit to Venice and Verona in 1871 he was especially impressed by the work of 15th-century Venetian artists; this new enthusiasm was reflected in his prize-winning painting of a subject set by the Munich Akademie, a scene from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (1872; destr., see Starzynski, pl. 4). After accompanying his dying brother Maks to various spa towns and other locations, he settled in Rome in mid-1874. Two genre scenes from this period, Roman Tavern and A Game of Mora (both 1874; Warsaw, N. Mus.), show the influence of Dutch painting. Gierymski remained in Italy until 1879, mostly resident in Rome. SAENREDAM, Pieter Jansz
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1597-1665,Painter and draughtsman, son of Jan Saenredam. His paintings of churches and the old town halls in Haarlem, Utrecht and Amsterdam must have been appreciated by contemporary viewers principally as faithful representations of familiar and meaningful monuments. Yet they also reveal his exceptional sensitivity to aesthetic values; his paintings embody the most discriminating considerations of composition, colouring and craftsmanship. His oeuvre is comparatively small, the paintings numbering no more than 60, and each is obviously the product of careful calculation and many weeks of work. Their most striking features, unusual in the genre, are their light, closely valued tonalities and their restrained, restful and delicately balanced compositions. These pictures, always executed on smooth panels, are remarkable for their sense of harmony and, in some instances, serenity. Here, perhaps, lies a trace of filial fidelity to the Mannerist tradition of refinement and elegance, of lines never lacking in precision and grace. But Mannerist figures and the more comparable components of strap- and scrollwork embellishment lack the tension and clarity of Saenredam's designs, which also have a completeness reminiscent of the fugues of Gerrit Sweelinck (1566-?1628).
Italian b1240 - d1302
Italian painter and mosaicist. His nickname means either bull-head or possibly one who crushes the views of others (It. cimare: top, shear, blunt), an interpretation matching the tradition in commentaries on Dante that he was not merely proud of his work but contemptuous of criticism. Filippo Villani and Vasari assigned him the name Giovanni, but this has no historical foundation. He may be considered the most dramatic of those artists influenced by contemporary Byzantine painting through which antique qualities were introduced into Italian work in the late 13th century. His interest in Classical Roman drapery techniques and in the spatial and dramatic achievements of such contemporary sculptors as Nicola Pisano, however, distinguishes him from other leading members of this movement. As a result of his influence on such younger artists as Duccio and Giotto, the forceful qualities of his work and its openness to a wide range of sources, Cimabue appears to have had a direct personal influence on the subsequent course of Florentine, Tuscan and possibly Roman painting.