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 :. | Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist | Adoration of the Magi | The Battle of Anghiari | Madonna and Child with a Pomegranate | John the Baptist |
Related Artists:Christian Ernst Bernhard Morgenstern
(29 September 1805 - 12 Februar 1867) was a German landscape painter. Morgenstern is regarded as one of the pioneers in Germany of early Realism in painting. He gained this reputation in Hamburg 1826-1829 together with his contemporary Adolph Friedrich Vollmer while both were still studying; from 1830 onwards, Morgenstern, together with Friedrich Wasmann, Johan Christian Dahl and Adolph Menzel, introduced Munich to Realist painting.
Morgenstern was born in Hamburg as one of six children to a painter of miniatures, Johann Heinrich Morgenstern (1769-1813). After the early death of his father he was placed as an apprentice in the graphic workshop of the brothers Suhr. Cornelius Suhr took the young Morgenstern as his servant on a two-year journey through Germany to publicise the panorama prints which the brothers Suhr produced. 1822 followed another long journey to St. Petersburg, where they stayed for a year and to Moscow. On their return to Hamburg Morgenstern succeeded in leaving Suhr (Vollmer took his place). He became a student of the Hamburg painter Siegfried Bendixen with whom he stayed from 1824 to 1827, then continued his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (1827-1828) and undertook study journeys through Sweden and Norway. Bendixen introduced him to the wealthy aristocrat and supporter of the arts, Carl Friedrich von Rumohr, patron to many young Hamburg artists, on whose estate in Holstein he spent several summers. In 1830 Morgenstern went to Munich on Ruhmor's advice. He settled there permanently while undertaking extensive yearly study trips: for the first years through Bavaria, then in the summer of 1836 and in the following summers to the Alsace as guest of a patron of the arts. The winter 1839/40 he returned to Hamburg to stay with his mother. In 1841 he visited Venice and Trieste together with the landscape painter Eduard Schleich and in 1843, and again in 1846 the central Alps. In the summer of 1850 he stayed on Heligoland. Nikolai Roerich
Russian painter, stage designer and founder of cultural institutions. The son of a lawyer of Scandinavian descent, he graduated from the studio of the landscape painter Arkhip Kuindzhi at the Academy of Fine Arts (1897) and from the faculty of law at the University of St Petersburg (1898). He then studied in Paris with the history painter Fernand Cormon (1900). Roerich had wide interests and made an important contribution to Russian culture: he lectured at the Institute of Archaeology (1898); he became secretary of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1901) and director of its school (1906); and he was the first chairman of the World of Art (Rus. Mir Iskusstva) Society (1910). The first volume of his collected cultural writings was published in Moscow in 1914. As a painter he exhibited with the Academy from 1897, WORLD OF ART from 1902, the Vienna Secession c. 1905 and the Salon d'Automne in Paris in 1906. From c. 1903 he was a leading member of the artists' colony at TALASHKINO, where he designed mosaics, friezes, murals and furniture. As a stage designer in Russia, he worked between 1907 and 1915 for such directors as Nikolay Yevreinov (1879-1953), Giacomo Francesco Cipper
(Feldkirch, 1664 - Milan, 1736) was a German painter active in Milan from 1696 to 1736.
Of German origin, he was active in Milan in the first half of the 18th century. Fertile painter of scenes of kind of formulation caravaggesca, his first attributed work is dated 1700; he operated in Lombardia and in Veneto ( Hunters and greengrocers , Modena, Gallery Campori; Farmers' family , Venice, Galleries of the academy). Subsequently the artist, perhaps under the influence of the Cerruti (some of whose works were once attributed to Cipper), to the scrupulous surrender of the detail it replaced a less illustrative vision, more sensitive to the games of light.
His last known work is Self-portrait (1736, Hampton Court).