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 and Child with St Anne and the Young St John | Adoration of the Magi | Grotesque profile of a man | Mona Lisa (detail) dhu | Annunciation |
Related Artists:William de Leftwich Dodge
(1867-1935) was an American artist best known for his murals, which were commissioned for both public and private buildings.
Dodge was born at Liberty, Virginia in the Piedmont near Lynchburg. In 1879, his mother, Mary de Leftwich Dodge, an aspiring artist, moved her family to Europe. After living initially in Munich they moved to Paris, where she worked on art. Dodge later followed her example and became an artist. He spent most of his childhood years in France, where his mother was working on art. He studied at the École des Beaux Arts and took first place in the examinations in 1881. He also studied under Jean-Leon Gerôme and with Raphaël Collin at the Academie Colarossi, and traveled to Munich for studies there.
Pietro da Cortona
1596-1669 Italian Pietro da Cortona Galleries Italian painter, draughtsman and architect. He was, together with Gianlorenzo Bernini and Franceso Borromini, one of the three leading artists of the Roman Baroque. As a painter he developed the early Baroque style, initiated by Annibale Carracci, to a magnificent and imposing High Baroque. His fresco decorations set a standard for European Baroque painting until they were eclipsed by Giambattista Tiepolo's works and those of other Venetian masters of the 18th century. As an architect Cortona was far less influential. His imaginative designs for fa?ades and stucco decorations were, however, conclusive and independent solutions to problems central to Roman Baroque architecture.
American painter of Scottish birth. In 1879 Kane emigrated to western Pennsylvania. He worked as a bricklayer, coal miner, steel worker and carpenter in the Ohio River valley and, in 1890, began to sketch local scenery. After losing his leg in a train accident in 1891, he was employed painting railway carriages. When his son died in 1904, Kane left his family and spent years wandering and working in odd jobs; his earliest surviving paintings date from around 1910. Settling in Pittsburgh, he worked as a house painter and in his spare time painted portraits, religious subjects, the city's urban landscape and memories of his Scottish childhood. In 1927 the jury of the Carnegie International Exhibition, Pittsburgh, encouraged by the painter-juror Andrew Dasburg (b 1887), accepted Kane's Scene in the Scottish Highlands (1927; Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Mus. A.). Kane's success, at first considered a hoax by the press, was based on the modernist interest in primitive and folk art. His work was regarded as non-academic and boldly original, and he became the first contemporary American folk artist to be recognized by a museum. Larimer Avenue Bridge (1932; Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Mus. A.) is characteristic of his style with its meticulous detail, flat colour and dominant green and red. Though he sketched and painted on the site, Kane freely transposed pictorial elements to create a more pleasing composition. This innate compositional sense is evident in his Self-portrait (1929; New York, MOMA).