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 :. | You branching of the Blutgefabe, anatomical figure with heart kidneys and Blutgefaben | Six studies fur naked or clothed men | The last dinner | Madonna with the carnation | The master of the Pala Sforzesca attributed |
Related Artists:Ange Tissier
French , Peronne 1852-Arras 1915
Jan Van Kessel
Jan Van Kessel Gallery
Dutch painter and draughtsman. He was a follower, and probably a pupil, of Jacob van Ruisdael and covered the same range of subjects painted by Ruisdael, with the exception of marine paintings. However, van Kessel is best known for his townscapes and panoramic views, as exemplified by the Sluice and the New City Ramparts of Amsterdam in Winter (Amsterdam, Hist. Mus.) and the Bleaching Grounds near Haarlem (Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.). He imitated the water-mills and village scenes of his friend Meindert Hobbema, as well as the waterfalls of Allaert van Everdingen, the wooded landscapes of Jan Wijnants and the winter scenes of Jan van de Cappelle. Many of van Kessel's 120 surviving pictures, including The Avenue (Stuttgart, Staatsgal.) and the Ford in the Woods (Dresden, Gem?ldegal. Alte Meister), were once attributed to van Ruisdael and these other masters (often with an authentic signature covered by the better-known name). Van Kessel is also frequently confused with other minor artists in van Ruisdael's circle, especially Jan Vermeer van Haarlem the younger, Isaac Koene (1637/40-1713), Jacob Salomonsz. van Ruysdael (1629/30-1681) and Anthonie van Borssom. As a draughtsman, van Kessel emulated van Ruisdael's mature style, working almost exclusively in black chalk and grey wash. The best of his 70 drawings are townscapes, although his studies of trees and depictions of farmsteads are noteworthy. A number of correlations exist between his sketches and paintings. There is no known relationship with the Flemish artists of the same name.