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 :. | Raffaello Sanzio named Raffael Portrat of Lorenzo de Medici | Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci sg | Interior view of the Schadels | The embryo in the Uterus | Mona Lisa (detail) dyk |
Related Artists:Arnold Bucklin
1827 Basle-1901 SanJean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant
(also known as Benjamin Constant), born Jean-Joseph Constant (10 June 1845 - 26 May 1902), was a French painter and etcher best known for his Oriental subjects and portraits.
Benjamin-Constant was born in Paris. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he was a pupil of Alexandre Cabanel. A journey to Morocco in 1872 strongly influenced his early artistic development and lead him to produce Romantic scenes under the spell of Orientalism. Among his noted works in this vein are Last Rebels, Justice in the Harem (both in the Luxembourg Gallery), Les Cherifas, and Moroccan Prisoners (Bordeaux). His large canvas, The Entrance of Mahomet II into Constantinople (Toulouse Museum), received a medal in 1876.
After 1880, he changed his manner, devoting himself to mural decorations and to portraits. Prominent examples include the great plafond in the Hôtel de Ville, Paris, entitled Paris Convening the World; his paintings in the New Sorbonne, representing Literature, The Sciences, and the Academy of Paris; and the plafond of the Opera Comique theatre. He was distinguished as a portrait painter, especially in England, where he was a favorite of the aristocracy. His portrait Mons fils Andra (Luxembourg) was awarded a medal of honor at the Salon in 1896.
Benjamin-Constant painted Pope Leo XIII, Queen Alexandra of England (1901), Lord John Lumley-Savile, and Henri Blowitz (1902). He was made a member of the Institute in 1893, and was a commander of the Legion of Honor. He visited the United States several times, and painted a number of portraits. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York owns a large mural decoration by Benjamin-Constant entitled Justinian in Council.
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.