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 with a Flower | Study for a kneeling Leda | La Belle Ferronniere | Adoration of the Magi |
Related Artists:Hendrick Goltzius
Hendrik Goltzius (1558 - January 1, 1617), Dutch printmaker, draftsman, and painter, was born at Millebrecht, in the duchy of Julich. He was the leading Dutch engraver of the early Baroque period, noted for his sophisticated technique.
After studying painting on glass for some years under his father, he was taught the use of the burin by Dirk Volkertszoon Coornhert, a Dutch engraver of mediocre attainment, whom he soon surpassed, but who retained his services for his own advantage. He was also employed by Philip Galle to engrave a set of prints of the history of Lucretia.
At the age of 21 he married a widow somewhat advanced in years, whose money enabled him to establish at Haarlem an independent business; but his unpleasant relations with her so affected his health that he found it advisable in 1590 to make a tour through Germany to Italy, where he acquired an intense admiration for the works of Michelangelo, which led him to emulate that master in the grotesqueness and extravagance of his designs. He returned to Haarlem considerably improved in health, and laboured there at his art till his death.
Goltzius' painting Lot and his daughters (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam) shows Lot being seduced by his two daughters. Sodom and Gomorrah are shown burning in the background, with Lot's wife who had turned into a pillar of salt, in front.Goltzius ought not to be judged chiefly by the works he valued most, his eccentric imitations of Michelangelo. His portraits, though mostly miniatures, are masterpieces of their kind, both on account of their exquisite finish, and as fine studies of individual character. Of his larger heads, the life-size portrait of himself is probably the most striking example. His masterpieces, so called from their being attempts to imitate the style of the old masters, have perhaps been overpraised.
Goltzius brought to an unprecedented level the use of the "swelling line", where the burin is manipulated to make lines thicker or thinner to create a tonal effect from a distance. He also was a pioneer of "dot and lozenge" technique, where dots are placed in the middle of lozenge shaped spaces created by cross-hatching to further refine tonal shading.
A self portraitHollstein credits 388 prints to him, with a further 574 by other printmakers after his designs.
In his command of the burin Goltzius is said to rival that of Durer's; but his technical skill is not equally aided by higher artistic qualities. Even, however, his eccentricities and extravagances are greatly counterbalanced by the beauty and freedom of his execution. He made engravings of Bartholomeus Spranger's paintings, thus increasing the fame of the latter - and his own. Goltzius began painting at the age of forty-two; some of his paintings can be found in the imperial collection at Vienna. He also executed a few chiaroscuro woodcuts. He was the stepfather of engraver Jacob Matham.Pieter Janssens Elinga
Pieter Janssens Elinga Locations RICCI, Sebastiano
Italian painter, Venetian school (b. 1659, Belluno, d. 1734, Venezia).Painter and draughtsman. He painted light and colourful religious, historical and mythological subjects with a fluid, painterly touch. His rediscovery of Paolo Veronese, whose settings and costumes he borrowed, was important to later Venetian painters. Sebastiano was an itinerant artist, celebrated throughout Europe.