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 :. | Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci | Madonna and Child with a Pomegranate | Portrait of a Lady at the Court of Milan (san05) | Portrait of Cecilia Gallarani | Virgin of the Rocks |
Related Artists:Augustyn Mirys
(1700-1790) was a Polish painter.
CARRIERA, Rosalba fg
Italian Rococo Era Painter, 1675-1757
John La Farge
John La Farge (March 31, 1835 ?C November 14, 1910) was an American painter, stained glass window maker, decorator, and writer.
Born in New York City, New York, his interest in art was aroused during his training at Mount St. Mary's University and St. John's College (now Fordham University). He had only the study of law in view until he returned from his first visit to Paris, France where he studied with Thomas Couture and enjoyed the most brilliant literary society of the day. Even his earliest drawings and landscapes, done in Newport, Rhode Island, after his marriage in 1861 to Margaret Mason Perry, sister-in-law of Lilla Cabot Perry, show marked originality, especially in the handling of color values, and also the influence of Japanese art, in the study of which he was a pioneer.
La Farge's inquiring mind led him to experiment with color problems, especially in the medium of stained glass. He succeeded not only in rivaling the gorgeousness of the medieval windows, but in adding new resources by his invention of opalescent glass and his original methods of superimposing and welding his material. Among his many masterpieces are the "Battle Window" at Harvard and the cloisonn?? "Peacock Window" in the Worcester Art Museum. Two of his largest windows are located in Unity Church in North Easton, Massachusetts. The earliest of these, the "Angel of Help" was completed in 1887 while the "Figure of Wisdom" dates to 1901. Both of these windows were restored by "Victor Rothman for Stained Glass Inc" of Yonkers, New York in the 1990's.
Between 1859 and 1870, he illustrated Tennyson's Enoch Arden and Robert Browning's Men and Women. Breadth of observation and structural conception, and a vivid imagination and sense of color are shown by his mural decorations. His first work in mural painting was done in Trinity Church, Boston, in 1873. Then followed his decorations in the Church of the Ascension (the large altarpiece) and St. Paul's Church, New York. For the State Capitol at St. Paul he executed, in his seventy-first year, four great lunettes representing the history of religion, and for the Supreme Court building at Baltimore, a similar series with Justice as the theme. In addition there are his vast numbers of other paintings and water colors, notably those recording his extensive travels in the Orient and South Pacific.
His labors in almost every field of art won for him from the French Government the Cross of the Legion of Honor and membership in the principal artistic societies of America, as well as the presidency of the Society of Mural Painters. Enjoying an extraordinary knowledge of languages (ancient and modern), literature, and art, by his cultured personality and reflective conversation he greatly influenced all who knew him. Though naturally a questioner he venerated the traditions of religious art, and preserved always his Catholic faith and reverence.
In 1904, he was one of the first seven chosen for membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. On his passing in 1910, John LaFarge was interred in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. During his life, he maintained a studio at 51 West 10th Street, in Greenwich Village, which today is part of the site of Eugene Lang College