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 :. | Madonna of the Yarnwinder | St Jerome sgyu | Leda and the Swan | Hl. Anna, Maria, Christuskind mit Lamm | Madonna and Child with a Pomegranate et |
Related Artists:Phillips, Ammi
American Folk Artist, 1788-1865
American painter. Apparently self-taught, he began his prolific and successful career as a portrait painter c. 1811. During his lifetime, he moved several times across the borders of New York, western Connecticut and Massachusetts in search of commissions. Like many of the itinerant artists of the 19th century, he struggled to achieve pictorial solutions and a distinctive style, yet he developed so dramatically that historians originally classified his paintings as the work of two different artists: 'The Border Limner' and 'The Kent Limner'. The earliest works, from his 'Border' period (c. 1812-19), are marked by simple forms, shaded outlines and soft, pastel colours. They include ambitious full-length portraits as well as three-quarter and bust-length examples (Dr Russell Dorr, c. 1814-15; Williamsburg, VA, Rockefeller Flk A. Col.). In the 1820s he experimented with techniques and formats, developing an attention to detail and naturalism that suggests the influence of Albany portrait painter Ezra Ames. By the 1830s, the decade of his 'Kent' portraits, his compositions present his sitters as large, stylized shapes that nearly fill the canvas, while his use of rich, saturated colours creates striking contrasts of light and dark. Typically in this decade, his female sitters are shown leaning forward while male sitters sit upright with one hand draped over a chairback. Among his most appealing and successful works are portraits of children from this period. Blond Boy with Primer, Konrad Alexander Muller-Kurzwelly
painted Gehoft in Mecklenburg in 1885Honore Daumier
Honore Daumier Locations
In some 40 years of political and social commentary Honore Daumier created an enormously rich and varied record of Parisian middle-class life in the form of nearly 4,000 lithographs, about 1,000 wood engravings, and several hundred drawings and paintings. In them the comic spirit of Moli??re comes to life once again. After having been the scourge of Louis Philippe and the July Monarchy (1830-1848), Daumier continued as a satirist of Louis Napoleon and the Second Empire (1851-1870). Poor himself, the artist sympathized with the struggling bourgeois and proletarian citizens of Paris. As a man of the left, he battled for the establishment of a republic, which finally came in 1870. Liberals have always applauded Daumier; some conservatives, however, have been inclined to consider him woolly-minded.
Honore Daumier, born on Feb. 26, 1808, in Marseilles, was the son of a glazier. When Honore was 6, the family moved to Paris, where the elder Daumier hoped to win success as a poet. Honore grew up in a home in which humanistic concerns had some importance. A born draftsman and designer who was largely self-taught, he received some formal instruction from Alexandre Lenoir, one of Jacques Louis David students. An obscure artist named Ramelet taught Daumier the elements of the new, inexpensive, and popular technique of lithography. Daumier style is so much his own that it is not easy to disentangle influences from other artists. Rembrandt and Francisco Goya are usually mentioned, along with Peter Paul Rubens, the Venetian school, and photography.