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 :. | Mona Lisa (mk08) | Last Supper (mk08) | Study Fur the Trivulzio-monument | St Jerome sgyu | Adoration of the Magi (mk08) |
Related Artists:Barbara Bodichon
was an English educationalist, artist, and a leading early nineteenth century feminist and activist for women's rights. She was the illegitimate child of Anne Longden, a 25-year-old milliner from Alfreton, and Benjamin Leigh Smith (1783-1860) , an MP's only son, who was himself a Radical MP for Norwich. Benjamin (Ben) had four sisters. One, Fanny Smith, married into the Nightingale family and produced a daughter, Florence Nightingale; another married into the Bonham-Carter family. Ben's father wanted him to marry Mary Shore, the sister of William Nightingale, now an in law by marriage Ben Smith's home was in Marylebone, London, but from 1816 he inherited and purchased property near Hastings: Brown's Farm near Robertsbridge, with a house built around 1700 (extant), and Crowham Manor, Westfield, which included 200 acres. Although a member of the landed gentry, Smith held radical views. He was a Dissenter, a Unitarian, a supporter of Free Trade, and a benefactor to the poor. In 1826 he bore the cost of building a school for the inner city poor at Vincent Square, Westminster, and paid a penny a week towards the fees for each child, the same amount as paid by their parents. On a visit to his sister in Derbyshire in 1826 Smith met Anne Longden, a 25-year-old milliner from Alfreton. She became pregnant and Smith took her to a rented lodge at Whatlington, a small village near Battle, East Sussex. There she lived as 'Mrs Leigh', the surname of Ben Smith's relations on the Isle of Wight. Barbara's birth created a scandal because the couple did not marry. Smith rode on horseback from Brown's Farm to visit them daily, and within eight weeks Anne was pregnant again. When little Ben was born the four of them went to America for two years, during which time another child was conceived. On their return to Sussex they lived openly together at Brown's, and had two more children. After their last child was born, in 1833, Anne became ill with tuberculosis and Smith leased 9 Pelham Crescent, which faced the sea at HastingsCaspar van Wittel
(born Caspar Adriaensz. van Wittel, later a.k.a. Gaspare Vanvitelli, Gasparo degli Occhiali) (1653 - September 13, 1736) was a Dutch Golden Age landscape painter.
Van Wittel was born in Amersfoort. He learned painting first from Thomas Jansz van Veenendaal for 4 or 5 years and then from Matthias Withoos for 7 years, until Withoos left Amersfoort. In Amersfoort, he likely was exposed to Dutch landscape artists such as Jan van der Heyden and Gerrit Berckheyde. His first extant works were made in Hoorn in 1672, but he relocated to Rome with his family ca. 1675 and made his career there. Like his former teacher, he joined the Bentvueghels with the nickname "Piktoors" or "Toorts van Amersfoort"(torch of Amersfort).
He married in Rome in 1697, and stayed most of his life in that city, though, between 1694 and 1710, he toured Italy and painted in places like Florence, Bologna, Ferrara, Venice, Milan, Piacenza and Naples. He is one of the principal painters of topographical views known as vedute.
Gaspar van Wittel died in Rome. His son Luigi would become a famous architect and also carries the italianized family name of Vanvitelli.
In Luigi's biography is written that his father was born in July 1656, but Van Wittel's grave in Rome states that he died at the age of 83 in 1736.
Walter Burley Griffin November 24, 1876?CFebruary 11, 1937) was a US architect and landscape architect, who is best known for his role in designing Canberra, Australia's capital city. He has also been credited with the development of the L-shaped floor plan, the carport and the first use of reinforced concrete.
Influenced by the Chicago-based Prairie School, Griffin went on to develop a unique modern style. For much of his career Griffin worked in partnership with his wife Marion Mahony Griffin. In the 28 years of their architectural partnership, the Griffins designed over 350 building, landscape and urban-design projects as well as designing construction materials, interiors, furniture and other household items.