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 :. | Portrait | Profile of a man | Profiles of a young and an old man | Rule fur the proportion of the human figure | The Virgin and St Anne |
Related Artists:Ludwig Deutsch
Austrian-born French Academic Painter, 1855-1935Jean-Francois De Troy
De Troy Gallery
Jean François de Troy was born on January 27, 1679 in Paris. The successful career of Jean François de Troy was based initially on large historical and allegorical compositions, such as Time Unveiling Truth (1733) in the National Gallery, London, but he is now most highly regarded for his smaller and more spirited scenes of elegant social life. They are among the best of those that rode on the wave of Watteau's success??indeed The Alarm, or the Gouvernante Fid??le (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1723) was attributed to Watteau in the 19th century. A versatile artist, he made tableaux de modes famous, painting histories and mythologies in a colourful and fluent manner which owed something to both Veronese and Peter Paul Rubens.
He undertook commissions for Versailles and Fontainebleau between 1724 and 1737, and designed two sets of tapestries for the Gobelins, each of seven subjects, the Histoire d'Esther (1737-40) and the Histoire de Jason (1743-6).
In 1738 he was appointed Director of the French Academy in Rome, and spent the rest of his life there. De Troy's wife died prematurely, and he lost of all his seven children. Jean François de Troy died on January 26, 1752 in Rome.Thomas Nast
September 27, 1840 ?C December 7, 1902,Illustrator Thomas Nast was the first American celebrity cartoonist, famous for helping to turn out New York corrupt politicians and for creating peristent iconographic images of Santa Claus. Nast, from a family of German immigrants, began working in New York City as a cartoonist at the age of 15. He had a long association with Harper Weekly (1861-86), during which his battlefield illustrations and skilled caricatures made him famous in the U.S. and abroad (Van Gogh was a collector). Nast was an opinionated, progressive Republican, and his illustrated attacks on the leader of New York Democrats, William Boss Tweed, are said to have helped bring down an era of government corruption. One of the most influential caricaturists of his time, he is credited with creating the image of Santa as a chubby fellow in a red suit. Nast also came up with the image of an ass to represent Democrats (around 1870) and an elephant to represent Republicans (1874). His popularity waned in the 1880s, and he parted ways with Harper Weekly over political and artistic differences. Failing to succeed with his own publication or as a painter, he managed to be appointed by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1902 to a diplomatic position in Ecuador, where he contracted yellow fever and died. Now officially embraced icons, the animal symbols of the two political parties were meant by Nast to be unflattering.