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 :. | The Annunciation-o | Leda | The Virgin of the Rocks | John the Baptist | Study for the Trivulzio Equestrian Monument |
Related Artists:Mirza Ali
the period of 1465-1535
Dutch Hendrick Terbrugghen Galleries
Dutch painter and draughtsman. He was, with Gerrit van Honthorst and Dirck van Baburen, one of the leading painters in the group of artists active in Utrecht in the 1620s who came to be known as the UTRECHT CARAVAGGISTI, since they adapted Caravaggio subject-matter and style to suit the Dutch taste for religious and secular paintings. Ter Brugghen was an important innovator for later Dutch 17th-century genre painting; his recognition as an unorthodox, but significant influence on the work of Johannes Vermeer and others is a relatively recent, 20th-century phenomenon.Cornelis van Dalem
Cornelis van Dalem Location
Flemish painter. He was the son of a well-to-do cloth merchant living in Antwerp, but of Dutch origin. Cornelis received a humanistic education. His father, who owned land in Tholen, as a vassal to the Counts of Holland and Zeeland, was dean of the chamber of rhetorics De Olijftak (The Olive Branch) in Antwerp in 1552-3. According to van Mander, Cornelis was himself learned in poetry and history and only painted as an amateur, not for a living. Documents in the Antwerp archives invariably refer to him as a merchant, never as a painter, which no doubt accounts for the small number of known paintings by him. He learnt to paint with an otherwise unknown artist, Jan Adriaensens, who had also taught his older brother Lodewijk van Dalem ( fl 1544-85). The latter was inscribed as a pupil in 1544-5 and became a master in the guild in 1553-4. Cornelis was himself inscribed a year after his brother, and he became a master in 1556, the same year he married Beatrix van Liedekercke, a member of an Antwerp patrician family. They lived in Antwerp until late 1565, when, apparently for religious reasons, they left for Breda, together with the artist mother, who had become a widow in 1561. In 1571 several local witnesses testified that van Dalem, who was then living in a small castle, De Ypelaar, in Bavel, near Breda, was strongly suspected of being a heretic. He was never seen in church and was said, on the contrary, to have often attended Protestant services and to have publicly expressed contempt for Papists.