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 :. | Six studies fur naked or clothed men | Abendmahl | The Virgin and St Anne | The Last Supper sgu | Leda and the Swan |
Related Artists:Oehme, Ernst Ferdinand
German, 1797-1855Christen Kobke
Christen Kobke Galleries
He lived in Kastellet until 1833 and made many paintings of the area. His painting "Gården ved bageriet i Kastellet" (ca. 1832) hangs in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum in Copenhagen.
In 1832 he shared a studio with friend, landscape painter Frederik Hansen Sødring. He painted a portrait of Sødring which now hangs in the Hirschsprung Collection.
In 1834 he moved, along with his parents, outside of Copenhagen??s fortifications near Sortedamssøen, a lake area. He painted many views overlooking the lake towards the city and the embankments surrounding the city. His work becomes larger, more monumental.
Like many of his contemporary artists he came under the influence of Niels Lauritz Høyen, art historian, who promoted a nationalistic art. Høyen called for artists to search for subject matter in the folk life of their country instead of searching for themes in other lands, such as Italy (which was at that time considered a requirement for an artist??s training). On a visit to Hillerod in 1835 he painted a romantic picture of Frederiksborg Palace, "Frederiksborg Slot ved Aftenbelysning" ("Frederiksborg Palace in the Evening Light").
At the end of 1837 he married Susanna Cecilie Kobke (1810-1849), and shortly afterwards painted a portrait of his young bride.
One of the Small Towers on Frederiksborg Castle, c.1834-35.In 1838 he received a travel stipend from the Academy, left his new wife and traveled over Dresden and Munich to Italy accompanied by decorative painter Georg Hilker. They arrived in Rome by year??s end where he met brother-in-law Frederik Christopher Krohn, sculptor and medallionist, and many other Danish artists. He traveled, along with Constantin Hansen the following summer to Naples, Sorrento, Pompeii and Capri where he painted out in the open air.
He returned home in 1840 with a large collection of sketches for later use and inspiration. Unfortunately, most his later work with these Italian themes was uninspired, and they found little favor. Kobke even considered at the time becoming a decoration painter, having participated in 1844-1845 in the decoration of the Thorvaldsens Museum, a museum dedicated to the artistic works of Bertel Thorvaldsen.
Two years after his father died in 1843 the family sold the property outside Copenhagen, and Kobke moved back into the city. His application for admission to the Academy, which was accompanied by one of his failed Italian landscapes, was rejected in 1846. He died in 1848 of pneumonia, and is buried in Assistens Kirkegard.
Kobke, a national romantic, painted portraits, landscapes and architectural paintings. Most of Kobke??s portraits show friends, family members and fellow artists. He found most of his motifs in his immediate surroundings. Now he is recognized internationally for his well composed and harmonic paintings, for their coloristic qualities and for his sense of the everyday life. But in his lifetime he was almost forgotten, especially because of his early death and limited production. Despite his talent and the praise of various contemporaries, Kobke had never been inundated with commissions.
Kobke is recognized today as one of the most talented among Denmark??s Golden Age painters and the most internationally renowned Danish painter of his generation. The painterly interpretations he made of his surroundings stand as highpoints of the period.
His works are in the collections of not only Danish museums but also such international museums as the J. Paul Getty Museum
American, born circa 1818-1892