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 after 1510 | the last supper | Madchenkopf with confused hair | Female head (La Scapigliata) wt | The Baptism of Christ (detail) sg |
Related Artists:Stanislaw Wyspianski
was a Polish playwright, painter and poet, as well as interior and furniture designer. A patriotic writer, he created a series of symbolic, national dramas within the artistic philosophy of the Young Poland Movement. Wyspiaeski was one of the most outstanding and multifaceted artists of his time in Europe. He successfully joined the trends of modernism with themes of the Polish folk tradition and Romantic history. Unofficially, he came to be known as the Fourth Polish Bard. Stanisław Wyspiaeski was born to Franciszek Wyspiaeski and Maria Rogowska. His father, a sculptor, owned an atelier on Wawel Hill. His mother died of tuberculosis in 1876 when Stanisław was seven years old. Due to alcohol problem, Stanisław's father could not fulfil his parental responsibilities. Stanisław was adopted by his aunt Joanna Stankiewiczowa and her husband Kazimierz. The Stankiewicz family belonged to a bourgeois and intellectual class. In their house Wyspiaeski became acquainted with painter Jan Matejko, who was a frequent visitor. Matejko soon recognized that the boy had artistic talent and gave him the first artistic guidance. Wyspiaeski attended Saint Anne's Secondary. The school was unique for several reasons. Firstly, although Polish language was forbidden in educational institutions under foreign rule, the lectures in Saint Anne's Gymnasium were delivered in Polish. Secondly, the teacher's goal was to equip the students with a thorough knowledge of Polish history and literature. Thirdly, the school graduates, which included Lucjan Rydel, Stanisław Estreicher and Henryk Opieeski, were considered prominent figures in Krakew's cultural life. As a student Wyspiaeski did not display any specific talent, but took particular interest in art and literature. According to Joanna Stankiewiczowa, a young Stanisław portrayed small village cottages, animals, plants, armors and decorations. As far as literature was concerned, Wyspiaeski created a dramatic interpretation of Matejko's painting Stefan Batory pod Pskowem (Bathory at Pskov). In 1887 Wyspiaeski enrolled in the Philosophy Department at the Jagiellonian University and the School of Fine Arts in Krakew. While studying at the University, he attended lectures in art, history and literature. Jan Matejko, the dean of the School of Fine Arts soon recognized Wyspiaeski's talent and asked him to join in the creation of a polychrome inside the Mariacki Church. The years 1890-1895 were devoted to traveling. Wyspiaeski visited Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Prague and France. The stay in France was regarded to be the major point in his artistic life. He studied at the private atelier Academie Colarossi. Since the school fee was very high, Wyspiaeski applied for a grant. During the stay in France he got acquainted with Paul Gauguin. Together they visited art museums, where Wyspiaeski was bewitched by the beauty of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes's paintings. He also attended theatre performances based on Shakespeare's and antic plays. His future dramas: Daniel i Meleager (Daniel and Meleagra) and Powret Odysa (Return of Odysseus) were based on the antic tradition. Meanwhile, he worked on several dramas Krelowa Polskiej Korony (The Queen of Polish Crown), Warszawianka (Varsovian Anthem) and the first version of Legenda (Legend). The play Legenda (Legend) was based on the famous Polish legend about Wars and Sawa. In August 1894 he returned to Krakew, where he got involved in the modernist movement. It was then he designed and partially made a polychrome for the Franciscan Church that was composed of flowery, geometrical and heraldic motifs. Moreover, the prior of the church encouraged Wyspiaeski to design various stained glass windows such as Blessed Salomea, Saint Francis Stigmata and God the Father. It is worth mentioning that Wyspiaeski received an award of the Polish Academy of Learning for the landscape of the Kopiec Kościuszki (Kościuszko Mound). Wjatscheslaw Grigorjewitsch Schwarz
was a French artist of French-Italian parents and was born in Paris on December 11, 1854. He is recognized as a master of French impressionist street scenes spanning four decades. His work is sought out by collectors all over the world. Well-known in France, his paintings of the early 1900s accurately represent the era in which he lived: a happy, bustling Paris, la Belle Époque, with horse-drawn carriages, trolley cars and its first omnibuses. Galien-Laloue's works are valued not only for their contribution to 20th century art, but for the actual history, which they document. He was a populariser of street scenes, usually painted in autumn or winter. His work can be seen at the Musee des Beaux-Arts, Louvier; Musee des Beaux-Arts, La Rochelle; Mulhouse, France. Galien-Laloue has inspired and influenced many of yesterday's and today's artists, including renowned French impressionists Edouard Leon Cortes and Antoine Blanchard. A typical Galien-Laloue painting depicts sidewalks and avenues crowded with people or tourists mingling before the capital's monuments. He also painted the landscapes of Normandy and Seine-et-Marne, as well as military scenes he was commissioned to produce in 1914. The Republic of France selected Galien-Laloue to work as a 'war artist,' both during the Franco-Prussian War and World War I, chiefly in watercolor. "He was originally trained as an architect, but did not enjoy the promotional aspects of the profession. Under the tutelage of Charles Laloue, he quickly gained fame as an artist, specializing in watercolor and gouache." "Galien-Laloue mastered the depiction of the Belle Epoque Paris street scene, much in the vein of Jean Beraud (1849-1936) or James Jacques Tissot (1836-1902). He portrayed Paris at its best: irresistible shops, boulevards and "quartiers". With delicate line and dramatic lighting, Galien-Laloue documented the daily bustle of one of the world's most beautiful cities, Paris."