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 :. | Detail of Madonna of the Rocks | John the Baptist | Portrait of a Lady at the Court of Milan (san05) | Portrait of Mona Lisa,La Gioconda (mk05) | Study for the Trivulzio Equestrian Monument |
Related Artists:Edward Haytley
British Painter, active 1740-ca.1762,was an English portrait and landscape painter of the 18th century. Little is known about him, but the background of some of his sitters and professional contacts suggest he may have come from Lancashire. Few of his works survive, but he appears to have specialised in the "conversation piece" form popular with the landed gentry of mid-18th century England, a group portrait against an idealised backdrop of the subjects' estates. His works of this form include one of Elizabeth Robinson with her parents, Edward and Elizabeth Montagu, at Sandleford Priory near Hythe, Kent; six portraits of the Stanley family including one of Sir Robert and Lady Bradshaigh in front of Haigh Hall; and two of the Brockman family on its Kent estate, Beachborough, both showing the newly-constructed Temple Pond. One of the latter may include Susanna Highmore, daughter of the portrait painter Joseph Highmore. His best known works are the oil-on-canvas roundels of Bethlem and Chelsea Hospitals donated in 1740, at the behest of William Hogarth, to the Foundling Hospital, London. His last recorded work was a conversation piece of William Milner, second baronet, dated 1764, and he is assumed to have died shortly after this dateRubens Santoro
Italian, 1859-1942GIJBRECHTS, Cornelis
Flemish painter (b. ca. 1630, Antwerpen, d. after 1675,