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 :. | Aurelio Luini attributed, profile of an old man | The master of the Pala Sforzesca attributed | The adoration of the Konige | Drawing of an Infant | A full-scale composition of the Virgin and Child with St Anne and the infant St John the Baptist |
Related Artists:Josephus Laurentius Dyckmans
painted The Blind Beggar in 1853
Pablo Diego Josee Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Mareea de los Remedios Cipriano de la Sant??sima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Rueez y Picasso (25 October 1881 C 8 April 1973) was an Andalusian-Spanish painter, draughtsman, and sculptor. As one of the most recognized figures in twentieth-century art, he is best known for co-founding the Cubist movement and for the wide variety of styles embodied in his work. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d Avignon (1907) and his depiction of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War, Guernica (1937).
Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego Josee Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Mareea de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santesima Trinidad Clito, a series of names honouring various saints and relatives. Added to these were Rueez and Picasso, for his father and mother, respectively, as per Spanish custom. Born in the city of Melaga in the Andalusian region of Spain, he was the first child of Don Josee Ruiz y Blasco (1838?C1913) and Marea Picasso y Lepez. Picassoes family was middle-class; his father was also a painter who specialized in naturalistic depictions of birds and other game. For most of his life Ruiz was a professor of art at the School of Crafts and a curator of a local museum. Ruizes ancestors were minor aristocrats.
The young Picasso showed a passion and a skill for drawing from an early age; according to his mother, his first words were epiz, pize, a shortening of lepiz, the Spanish word for epencile. From the age of seven, Picasso received formal artistic training from his father in figure drawing and oil painting. Ruiz was a traditional, academic artist and instructor who believed that proper training required disciplined copying of the masters, and drawing the human body from plaster casts and live models. His son became preoccupied with art to the detriment of his classwork.
The family moved to La Coruna in 1891 so his father could become a professor at the School of Fine Arts. They stayed almost four years. On one occasion the father found his son painting over his unfinished sketch of a pigeon. Observing the precision of his sones technique, Ruiz felt that the thirteen-year-old Picasso had surpassed him, and vowed to give up painting.
In 1895, Picasso seven-year old sister, Conchita, died of diphtheria - a traumatic event in his life.After her death, the family moved to Barcelona, with Ruiz transferring to its School of Fine Arts. Picasso thrived in the city, regarding it in times of sadness or nostalgia as his true home. Ruiz persuaded the officials at the academy to allow his son to take an entrance exam for the advanced class. This process often took students a month, but Picasso completed it in a week, and the impressed jury admitted Picasso, who was still 13. The student lacked discipline but made friendships that would affect him in later life. His father rented him a small room close to home so Picasso could work alone, yet Ruiz checked up on him numerous times a day, judging his sones drawings. The two argued frequently.
Picassoes father and uncle decided to send the young artist to Madrides Royal Academy of San Fernando, the foremost art school in the country. In 1897, Picasso, age 16, set off for the first time on his own. Yet his difficulties accepting formal instruction led him to stop attending class soon after enrollment. Madrid, however, held many other attractions: the Prado housed paintings by the venerable Diego Velezquez, Francisco Goya, and Francisco Zurbaren. Picasso especially admired the works of El Greco; their elements, like elongated limbs, arresting colors, and mystical visages, are echoed in Picassoes œuvre.
British art critic, was born in London, the son of George Scharf, a Bavarian miniature painter who settled in England in 1816 and died in 1860. He studied in the schools of the Royal Academy. In 1840 he accompanied Sir Charles Fellows to Asia Minor, and in 1843 acted as draughtsman to a government expedition to the same country. After his return he devoted himself with great industry and success to the illustration of books relating to art and antiquity, of which the best known are Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome (1847); Milman's Horace, (1849); Kugler's Handbook of Italian Painting (1851); and Dr Smith's classical dictionaries. He also engaged largely in lecturing and teaching, and took part in the formation of the Greek, Roman and Pompeian courts at the Crystal Palace. He acted as art secretary to the great Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857, and in that year was appointed secretary and director to the newly founded National Portrait Gallery. The remainder of his life was given to the care of that institution. Scharf acquired an unrivalled knowledge of all matters relating to historic portraiture, and was the author of many learned essays on the subject. In 1885