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 :. | Last Supper | The Virgin and St Anne (mk08) | Battle of Anghiari | The Last Supper (detail) sg | The Last Supper |
Related Artists:James Seymour
British Painter , ca.1702-1752
English painter and draughtsman. The son of James Seymour (d 1739), a dealer in pictures and precious metals, Seymour was among the first English painters to specialize exclusively in sporting subject-matter. Though he possibly received some informal drawing instruction from the topographer Francis Place, Seymour was essentially a self-taught artist whose education was based on the study of pictures that passed through his father's hands; one of his earliest known works is a sketch of a horse's head after van Dyck (sold London, Christie's, 16 June 1970). His early 'genius to drawing of horses' was, according to George Vertue, compromised by 'modish extravagances' through living 'gay high and loosely' and because he 'never studied enough to paint or colour well'. Elsewhere, however, it was recorded that by 1739 he was 'reckoned the finest draughtsman in his way [of horses, hounds etc.] in the whole world' (Universal Spectator, 1739), and he was certainly preferred to his chief rival, John Wootton, by many sporting patrons. Among his employers was William Jolliffe MP, of Ammerdown. Though many of his paintings are either derivative of Wootton or simply inept, or both, others are characterized by a self-conscious stylistic naivety in which meticulous attention to detail and eerily static compositions combine to create curiously memorable images of some apparent sophistication. Englebert Fisen
(1655 -1733 ) - PainterJohn Singer Sargent
John Singer Sargent Locations
John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 ?C April 14, 1925) was the most successful portrait painter of his era. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.
Before Sargent??s birth, his father FitzWilliam was an eye surgeon at the Wills Hospital in Philadelphia. After his older sister died at the age of two, his mother Mary (n??e Singer) suffered a mental collapse and the couple decided to go abroad to recover. They remained nomadic ex-patriates for the rest of their lives. Though based in Paris, Sargent??s parents moved regularly with the seasons to the sea and the mountain resorts in France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. While she was pregnant, they stopped in Florence, Italy because of a cholera epidemic, and there Sargent was born in 1856. A year later, his sister Mary was born. After her birth FitzWilliam reluctantly resigned his post in Philadelphia and accepted his wife??s entreaties to remain abroad. They lived modestly on a small inheritance and savings, living an isolated life with their children and generally avoiding society and other Americans except for friends in the art world. Four more children were born abroad of whom two lived past childhood.
Though his father was a patient teacher of basic subjects, young Sargent was a rambunctious child, more interested in outdoor activities than his studies. As his father wrote home, ??He is quite a close observer of animated nature.?? Contrary to his father, his mother was quite convinced that traveling around Europe, visiting museums and churches, would give young Sargent a satisfactory education. Several attempts to give him formal schooling failed, owning mostly to their itinerant life. She was a fine amateur artist and his father was a skilled medical illustrator. Early on, she gave him sketchbooks and encouraged drawing excursions. Young Sargent worked with care on his drawings, and he enthusiastically copied images from the Illustrated London News of ships and made detailed sketches of landscapes. FitzWilliam had hoped that his son??s interest in ships and the sea might lead him toward a naval career.
At thirteen, his mother reported that John ??sketches quite nicely, & has a remarkably quick and correct eye. If we could afford to give him really good lessons, he would soon be quite a little artist.?? At age thirteen, he received some watercolor lessons from Carl Welsch, a German landscape painter. Though his education was far from complete, Sargent grew up to be a highly literate and cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art, music, and literature. He was fluent in French, Italian, and German. At seventeen, Sargent was described as ??willful, curious, determined and strong?? (after his mother) yet shy, generous, and modest (after his father). He was well-acquainted with many of the great masters from first hand observation, as he wrote in 1874, ??I have learned in Venice to admire Tintoretto immensely and to consider him perhaps second only to Michael Angelo and Titian.??