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 :. | The Madonna of the Carnation g | Kvinnoportratt | Master of the Pala Sforzesca, profile of an old man | Knieened figure in Draperie | Virgin of the Rocks,completed (mk08) |
Related Artists:anguissola sofonisba
The best known of the sisters, she was trained, with Elena, by Campi and Gatti. Most of Vasari's account of his visit to the Anguissola family is devoted to Sofonisba, about whom he wrote: 'Anguissola has shown greater application and better grace than any other woman of our age in her endeavours at drawing; she has thus succeeded not only in drawing, colouring and painting from nature, and copying excellently from others, but by herself has created rare and very beautiful paintings'. Sofonisba's privileged background was unusual among woman artists of the 16th century, most of whom, like Lavinia Fontana (see FONTANA (ii),(2)), FEDE GALIZIA and Barbara Longhi (see LONGHI (i), (3)), were daughters of painters. Her social class did not, however, enable her to transcend the constraints of her sex. Without the possibility of studying anatomy, or drawing from life, she could not undertake the complex multi-figure compositions required for large-scale religious or history paintings. She turned instead to the models accessible to her, exploring a new type of portraiture with sitters in informal domestic settings. The influence of Campi, whose reputation was based on portraiture, is evident in her early works, such as the Self-portrait (Florence, Uffizi). Her work was allied to the worldly tradition of Cremona, much influenced by the art of Parma and Mantua, in which even religious works were imbued with extreme delicacy and charm. From Gatti she seems to have absorbed elements reminiscent of Correggio, beginning a trend that became marked in Cremonese painting of the late 16th century. This new direction is reflected in Lucia, Minerva and Europa Anguissola Playing Chess (1555; Poznan, N. Mus.) in which portraiture merges into a quasi-genre scene, a characteristic derived from Brescian models.
Joseph Anton Koch
Joseph Anton Koch Galleries
was an Austrian painter of the German Romantic movement. The Tyrolese painter left academic training in the Karlsschule Stuttgart, a strict military academy, and traveled through France and Switzerland. He arrived in Rome in 1795. Koch was close to the painter Asmus Jacob Carstens and carried on Carstens' 'heroic' art, at first in a literal manner.
After 1800 Koch developed as a landscape painter. In Rome he espoused a new type of 'heroic' landscape, revising the classical compositions of Poussin and Lorrain with a more rugged, mountainous scenery. He left Rome in 1812 and stayed in Vienna until 1815, in protest of the French invasion. During this period he incorporated more non-classical themes in his work. In Vienna he was influenced by Friedrich Schlegel and enthusiasts of old German art. In response, his style became harsher, and this new approach had a wide influence on German landscape painters who visited Rome.Kiprensky, Orest
Russian Painter, 1782-1836
Russian painter and draughtsman. The leading Russian portrait painter of the Romantic period, he was the illegitimate son of the landowner A. D'yakonov and was adopted by his serf, Adam Shval'b and granted his freedom at birth. His surname is unconnected with that of either his real or his adoptive father, and its origin is uncertain. In 1798 he was sent to the St Petersburg Academy of Arts, eventually studying history painting under Gabriel-Francois Doyen and Grigory Ugryumov. In 1805 he received an important gold medal for his painting Dmitry Donskoy on the Field of Kulikovo (St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.) and won the right to travel to Italy on a scholarship. He did not, however, do so immediately, because of the tense political situation in Europe. Kiprensky's history painting was in keeping with the patriotic mood of Russian society during the years of the war against Napoleon.