LEONARDO da Vinci
Italian High Renaissance Painter and Inventor, 1452-1519
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 :. | Mona Lisa | Funf studies of grotesque faces | Madonna with the Yarnwinder | Madchenkopf with confused hair | The Annunciation |
Related Artists:Jean Paul Selinger
Jean Paul Selinger (1850-1909) and Emily Selinger (1848-1927), husband and wife, had summer art studios at the Glen House and the Crawford House. Born in Boston, Jean Paul studied at the Lowell Institute and in 1875 he went to Germany to study at the Munich Academy with Wilhelm Leibl. Upon returning, he opened an art studio in Providence, Rhode Island, and married Emily McGary, also an artist. The Selingers had a studio in Boston and a summer art studio at the Glen House, Pinkham Notch in the 1880s. In 1894 the Selingers moved into the former studio of Frank H. Shapleigh at the Crawford House. In August 1894 the Selingers accepted an invitation to serve on the board of judges for a North Conway Coaching Parade Committee. Jean Paul painted numerous portraits, still-life paintings, and White Mountain landscapes. Emily painted both watercolors and oils of local flora.
Jean Paul was a member of the Boston Art Club. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1880 and the Paint and Clay Club in Boston in 1889.John Hoppner
John Hoppner Galleries
John Hoppner (April 4?, 1758 - January 23, 1810), English portrait-painter, was born in Whitechapel.
His father was of German extraction, and his mother was one of the German attendants at the royal palace. Hoppner was consequently brought early under the notice and received the patronage of George III, whose regard for him gave rise to unfounded scandal. As a boy he was a chorister at the royal chapel, but showing strong inclination for art, he in 1775 entered as a student at the Royal Academy. In 1778 he took a silver medal for drawing from the life, and in 1782 the Academy's highest award, the gold medal for historical painting, his subject being King Lear.
He first exhibited at the Royal Academy In 1780. His earliest love was for landscape, but necessity obliged him to turn to the more lucrative business of portrait painting. At once successful, he had throughout life the most fashionable and wealthy sitters, and was the greatest rival of the growing attraction of Lawrence. Ideal subjects were very rarely at tempted by Hoppner, though a "Sleeping Venus," "Belisarius," "Jupiter and Io," a "Bacchante" and "Cupid and Psyche" are mentioned among his works. The prince of Wales visited him especially often, and many of his finest portraits are in the state apartments at St. James's Palace, the best perhaps being those of the prince, the duke and duchess of York, of Lord Rodney and of Lord Nelson, Among his other sitters were Sir Walter Scott, the Duke of Wellington, Frere and Sir George Beaumont.
Competent judges have deemed his most successful works to be his portraits of women and children. A Series of Portraits of Ladies was published by him in 1803, and a volume of translations of Eastern tales into English verse in 1805. The verse is of but mediocre quality. In his later years Hoppner suffered from a chronic disease of the liver. He was confessedly an imitator of Reynolds. When first painted, his works were much admired for the brilliancy and harmony of their colouring, but the injury due to destructive mediums and lapse of time which many of them suffered caused a great depreciation in his reputation. The appearance, however, of some of his pictures in good condition has shown that his fame as a brilliant colourist was well founded. His drawing is faulty, but his touch has qualities of breadth and freedom that give to his paintings a faint reflection of the charm of Reynolds. Hoppner was a man of great social power, and had the knowledge and accomplishments of a man of the world.
The best account of Hoppner's life and paintings is the exhaustive work by William McKay and W Roberts (1909Francois-Hubert Drouais
Paris 1727-Rome 1775
was a French painter and Jean-Germain Drouais's father. He specialized in portraits, some of which include Louis XV's last two mistresses, Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry respectively. He even painted the young Marie Antoinette.