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 :. | Abendmahl | The Virgin and Child with St Anne | Madonna with the Yarnwinder tw | Portrait of Ginevra de Benci | The Annunciation |
Related Artists:Simon de Vlieger
Dutch painter, draughtsman, etcher and stained-glass designer. He was one of the leading marine and landscape artists of the Dutch school and decisively influenced the direction of Dutch marine art during the 1630s and 1640s. His late works anticipated the shift from the monochrome or tonal phase of Dutch marine art to the more classical style of Jan van de Cappelle and Willem van de Velde the younger (see MARINE PAINTING). Although de Vlieger reputation rests chiefly on his marine paintings, he was also a notable draughtsman and etcher.
1465-1529 Flemish Jan Provost Gallery
Jan Provoost, or Jan Provost (1462/5, Mons?CJanuary 1529, Bruges) was a Flemish painter. He was one of the most famous Netherlandish painters of his generation, a prolific master who left his early workshop in Valenciennes to run two workshops, one in Bruges, where he was made a burgher in 1494, the other simultaneously in Antwerp, which was the economic center of the Low Countries. Provoost was also a cartographer engineer and architect. He met Albrecht D??rer in Antwerp in 1520, and a D??rer portrait drawing at the National Gallery, London, is conjectured to be of Provoost. He married the widow of the miniaturist and painter Simon Marmion, after whose death he inherited the considerable Marmion estate.
The styles of Gerard David and Hans Memling can be detected in Provoost's religious paintings. The Last Judgement painted for the Bruges town hall in 1525 is the only painting for which documentary evidence identifies Provoost. Surprising discoveries can still be made: in 1971 an unknown and anonymous panoramic Crucifixion from the village church at Koolkerke was identified as Provoost's. It is on permanent loan to the Groeninge Museum, Bruges.BALDUNG GRIEN, Hans
German Northern Renaissance Painter and Printmaker, ca.1484-1545