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 :. | Madonna with the Yarnwinder tw | Leda | Virgin of the Rocks | The Virgin and St Anne | The Annunciation |
Related Artists:Henry Salem Hubble
Henry Salem Hubble Galleries Constantin Meunier
(12 April 1831 - 4 April 1905), Belgian painter and sculptor, was born in Etterbeek, Brussels.
His first exhibit was a plaster sketch, "The Garland," shown at the Brussels Salon in 1851. Soon afterwards, on the advice of the painter Charles de Groux, he abandoned the chisel for the brush. His first important painting, "The Salle St Roch" (1857), was followed by a series of paintings including "A Trappist Funeral" (1860), "Trappists Ploughing" (1863), in collaboration with Alfred Verwee, "Divine Service at the Monastery of La Trappe" (1871) and episodes of the German Peasants' War (1878). About 1880 he was commissioned to illustrate those parts of Camille Lemonnier's description of Belgium in Le Tour du monde which referred to miners and factory-workers, and produced "In the Factory," "Smithery at Cockerill's," "Melting Steel at the Factory at Seraing" (1882), "Returning from the Pit," and "The Broken Crucible" (1884).
In 1882 he was employed by the government to copy Pedro de Campaña's "Descent from the Cross" at Seville, and in Spain he painted such characteristic pictures as "The Cafe Concert," "Procession on Good Friday," and "The Tobacco Factory at Seville" (Brussels Gallery). On his return to Belgium he was appointed professor at the Louvain Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1885 he returned to statuary and produced " The Puddler," "The Hammerer" (1886), "Firedamp" (1889, Brussels Gallery), "Ecce Homo" (1891), "The Old Mine-Horse" (1891), "The Mower" (1892), "The Glebe" (1892), the monument to Father Damien at Louvain (1893), "Puddler at the Furnace" (1893), the scheme of decoration for the Botanical Garden of Brussels in collaboration with the sculptor Charles van der Stappen (1893), "The Horse at the Pond," in the square in the north-east quarter of Brussels, and two unfinished works, the "Monument to Labour" and the Zola monument, in collaboration with the French sculptor Alexandre Charpentier.
The "Monument to Labour," which was acquired by the State for the Brussels Gallery, comprises four stone bas-reliefs, "Industry," "The Mine," "Harvest," and the "Harbour"; four bronze statues, "The Sower" "The Smith" "The Miner," and the "Ancestor"; and a bronze group, "Maternity".
Meunier died at Brussels on 4 April 1905. Constantin Meunier was a freemason, and a member of the lodge Les Amis Philanthropes of the Grand Orient of Belgium in Brussels. He was one of the cofounders of the Societe Libre des Beaux-Arts of Brussels.
In 1939, a museum dedicated to him was opened in the last house in which Meunier lived and worked, in Ixelles. Today about 150 of his works are displayed there.
Paul Falconer Poole
(1806 - 1879) , an English painter born in Bristol
an English painter born in Bristol.was an English painter born in Bristol. Though self-taught his fine feeling for colour, poetic sympathy and dramatic power gained for him a high position among British artists. He exhibited his first work in the Royal Academy at the age of twenty-five, the subject being The Well, a scene in Naples. There was an interval of seven years before he next exhibited his Farewell, Farewell in 1837, which was followed by the Emigrant's Departure, Hermann and Dorothea and By the Waters of Babylon. In 1843 his position was made secure by his Solomon Eagle, and by his success in the Cartoon Exhibition, in which he received from the Fine Art Commissioners a prize of 300 sterling. After his exhibition of the Surrender of Syon House he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1846, and was made an academician in 1861. Poole's subjects divide themselves into two orders, one idyllic, the other dramatic. Of the former his May Day (1852) is a typical example. Of both styles there were excellent examples to be seen in the small collection of his works shown at Burlington House in the Winter Exhibition of 1883-1884. Among his early dramatic pictures was Solomon Eagle exhorting the People to Repentance during the Plague of 1665, painted in 1843. To this class belongs also the Messenger announcing to Job the Irruption of the Sabeans and the Slaughter of the Servants (exhibited in 1850), and Robert, Duke of Normandy .and Arietta (1848). Finer examples of his more mature power in this direction are to be found in his Prodigal Son, painted in. 1869; the Escape of Glaucusand lone with the blind girl Nydia from Pompeii (1860); and Cunstaunce sent adrift by the Constable of Alia, King of Northumberland, painted in 1868. More peaceful than these are the Song of Troubadours (painted in 1854) and the Goths in Italy (1851), the latter an important historical work of great, power and beauty. Of a less lofty strain, but still more beautiful in its workmanship, is the Seventh Day of the Decameron, painted in 1857. In this picture Poole rises to his full height as a colourist. In his pastorals he is soft and tender, as in the Mountain Path (1853), the Water-cress Gatherers (1870), the Shepston Maiden (1872). But when he turns to the grander and more sublime views of nature his work is bold and vigorous.