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 :. | Benois Madonna | Funf studies of grotesque faces | The Madonna of the Carnation (detail) dg | Leda | Mona Lisa (mk45) |
Related Artists:CAGNACCI, Guido
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1601-1681George Dance the Younger
George Dance the Younger (1 April 1741 - 14 January 1825) was an English architect and surveyor. The fifth and youngest son of George Dance the Elder, he came from a distinguished family of architects, artists and dramatists. He was hailed by Sir John Summerson as "among the few really outstanding architects of the century", but few of his buildings remain.
He was educated at the St. Paul's School, London. Aged 17, he was sent to Italy to prepare himself for an architectural career and joined his brother Nathaniel, who was studying painting in Rome. George was a member of academies in Italy, showing much promise as a draughtsman, and much of his later work was inspired by Piranesi, with whom he was acquainted.
He succeeded his father as City of London surveyor and architect on his father's death in 1768, when he was only 27. He had already distinguished himself by designs for Blackfriars Bridge, sent to the 1761 exhibition of the Incorporated Society of Artists.
His earliest London project was the rebuilding of All Hallows-on-the-Wall church in 1767. His first major public works were the rebuilding of Newgate Prison in 1770 and the front of the Guildhall, London. His other London works include the church of St Bartholomew-the-Less (1797). In Bath he largely designed the Theatre Royal, built by John Palmer in 1804-5. Sir John Soane was a pupil.
Many of his buildings have been demolished, including the Royal College of Surgeons, Newgate Prison, St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics, the Shakespeare Gallery in Pall Mall, the library at Lansdowne House, the Common Council Chamber and Chamberlain's Court at the Guildhall, Ashburnham Place, and Stratton Park (demolished save for its Tuscan portico)
With his brother Nathaniel, he was a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768, and its second professor of architecture, from 1798 to 1805. For a number of years, he was the last survivor of the 40 original Academicians.
Italian Early Renaissance Painter, ca.1350-1410
was an Italian painter, the son of a Florentine named Luca, who had taken refuge in Arezzo in 1310 when exiled with the rest of the Ghibelline party. Spinello was a pupil of Jacopo del Casentino, a follower of Giotto, and his own style was a sort of link between the school of Giotto and that of Siena. In the early part of his life he worked in Florence as an assistant to his master Jacopo while painting frescoes in the church of the Carmine and in Santa Maria Novella. Between 1360 and 1384 he was occupied in painting many frescoes in and near Arezzo, almost all of which have now perished. After the sack of Arezzo in 1384 Spinello returned to Florence, and in 1387-1388 with some assistants covered the walls and vault of the sacristy of San Miniato of Florence with a series of frescoes, the chief of which represent scenes from the life of Saint Benedict. These still exist, though in a sadly restored condition; they are very Giotto-like in composition, but have some of the Siena decorative brilliance of color. In 1391-1392 Spinello was painting six frescoes, which still remain on the south wall of the Pisan Campo Santo, representing miracles of St. Potitus and St. Ephesus. For these he received 270 gold forms. Among his later works the chief are the very fine series of frescoes painted in 1407-1408 on the walls and vault of a chapel in the municipal buildings of Siena; these also have suffered much from repainting, but still are the finest of Spinello's existing frescoes. Sixteen of these represent the war of Frederick Barbarossa against the republic of Venice.