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 :. | Portrait of Mona Lisa,La Gioconda (mk05) | The Annunciation-o | The Annunciation d | Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist | Madonna Benois Madonna with a Flower |
Related Artists:NUVOLONE, Panfilo
Italian painter, Lombard school (1581-1651)
After studying with Giovanni Battista Trotti, he moved to Milan, where he is recorded in 1610. The influence of Trotti and of late Cremonese Mannerism is evident in his first known work, SS Nicholas and Costanza Adoring a Miraculous Image of the Virgin (1607; Can?nica d'Adda, S Giovanni Evangelista). In his paintings of scenes from the Life of Samson (1610-14; Milan, S Angelo, Cappella Sansoni) Nuvolone moved away from Trotti, exaggerating the size of the figures and defining form with an academic clarity reminiscent of the contemporary art of Camillo Procaccini. There followed, shortly after the work in S Angelo, frescoes of the Coronation of the Virgin and other scenes in the presbytery of S Maria della Passione in Milan, and, in 1614, a lunette of the Angel Announcing to Mary her Approaching Death for S Domenico, Cremona (Cremona, Mus. Civ. Ala Ponzone). In 1620 he painted the Coronation of the Virgin for the Swiss parish church in Milan (in situ). Still tied stylistically to the earlier work in S Maria della Passione, this demonstrates the difficulty Nuvolone experienced in breaking with the late Mannerism of Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo, Giuseppe Meda (d 1599) and Ambrogio Figino and in adapting to new trends in 17th-century Milanese painting. His Virgin and Child with Two Saints (1624; Milan, S Eustorgio), featuring stiff figures and inflated Mannerist drapery with its metallic folds, indicates continued contact with Procaccini. In the same year he was employed in the decoration of the Collegiata di Appiano Gentile, where he painted two scenes from the Life of St Stephen and a Virgin and Child with SS Anthony and Victor. He continued to produce a vast number of repetitive religious works, yet these are less interesting than his still-life paintings, generally of fruit stands with peaches and grapes presented symmetrically against dark backgrounds.Louisa Anne Meredith
English miniaturist, watercolourist, engraver, poet, writer and botanist .
was an English and Australian writer and illustrator. Louisa Anne Meredith, the daughter of Thomas Twamley and Louisa Ann Meredith, was born near Birmingham, England on 20 July 1812. She was educated chiefly by her mother, and in 1835 published a volume, Poems, which was favourably reviewed. This was followed in 1836 by The Romance of Nature, mostly in verse, of which a third edition was issued in 1839. Another volume was published in the same year, The Annual of British Landscape Scenery, an account of a tour on the River Wye from Chepstow to near its source at Plynlimon. Shortly afterwards Miss Twamley was married to her cousin, Charles Meredith. Charles had emigrated to Van Dieman's Land in 1821 with his father George and family. They had been pioneers of grazing, whaling and other activities around Swansea on Tasmania's East Coast. Charles had become a squatter in the Canberra district of New South Wales They sailed for New South Wales in June 1839, and arrived at Sydney on 27 September 1839. After travelling into the interior as far as Bathurst, Mrs Meredith returned to the coast and lived at Homebush for about a year. By the time of his return to New South Wales, severe economic depression caused by excessive land speculation had destroyed the value of Charles' property, and towards the end of 1840 they relocated to Tasmania. An interesting account of her first 11 years in Australia is given in her two books, Notes and Sketches of New South Wales (1844), reprinted at least twice, and My Home in Tasmania (1852), which was soon republished in the United States of America under the title Nine Years in Australia. For much of her life Mrs Meredith lived on properties around Swansea. In 1860 she published Some of My Bush Friends in Tasmania which contained elaborate full-colour plates printed by the new chromolithography process. The illustrations were drawn by herself, and simple descriptions of characteristic native flowers were given. In the following year an account of a visit to Victoria in 1856, Over the Straits, was published, and in 1880 Tasmanian Friends and Foes, Feathered, Furred and Finned. This went into a second edition in 1881. In 1891, in her eightieth year, Mrs Meredith went to London to supervise the publication of Last Series, Bush Friends in Tasmania. Published at the outset of a severe financial depression in the Australian colonies, this project and the collapse of the bank where most of her savings were held ruined her financially. She died at Melbourne on 21 October 1895 and was survived by sons Owen and George. Mrs Meredith was the author of two novels, Phoebe's Mother (1869), which had appeared in the Melbourne weekly The Australasian in 1866 under the title of Ebba, and Nellie, or Seeking Goodly Pearls (1882). Mrs Meredith took great interest in politics, her husband Charles being a Member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council for several terms between the mid 1850s until just before his death in 1881. Silvestro lega
Italian Realist Painter, 1826-1895
Italian painter. From 1843 to 1847 he attended the Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence, studying drawing under Benedetto Servolini (1805-79) and Tommaso Gazzarini (1790-1853), then, briefly, painting under Giuseppe Bezzuoli. About 1847 he entered Luigi Mussini's school (see PURISMO), where the teaching emphasized the 15th-century Florentine principles of drawing and orderly construction. Then and for some years afterwards he continued to attend the Scuola del Nudo of the Accademia. After fighting in the military campaigns for Italian independence (1848-9) Lega resumed his training, this time under Antonio Ciseri, executing his first large-scale painting, Doubting Thomas (1850; Modigliana, Osp. Civ.). In 1852 he won the Concorso Trienniale dell'Accademia with David Placating Saul