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 :. | Lady with Ermine | Study of the proportion of horses | Lady with the ermine | Leda (detail) ghk | Aurelio Luini attributed, profile of an old man |
Related Artists:Robert Peake the Elder
Robert Peake Gallery Martin Schongauer
Martin Schongauer Galleries
His father was a goldsmith named Casper, a native of Augsburg, who had settled at Colmar, where the chief part of Martin's life was spent. He may well have been trained by Master E. S.; A. Hyatt Mayor saw both their styles in different parts of one engraving, and all the works with Schongauer's M†S monogram show a fully developed style. Schongauer established at Colmar a very important school of engraving, out of which grew the "Little Masters" of the succeeding generation, and a large group of Nuremberg artists.
As a painter, Schongauer was a follower of the Flemish Rogier van der Weyden, and his rare existing pictures closely resemble, both in splendour of color and exquisite minuteness of execution, the best works of contemporary art in Flanders.
Porträt einer jungen Frau, by Martin Schongauer, c. 1478, located in Sammlung Heinz Kisters, Kreuzlingen (Schweiz) in GermanyAmong the very few paintings which can with certainty be attributed to him, the chief is a magnificent altar-piece in the church of Saint Martin at Colmar. The Mus??e d´Unterlinden in Colmar possesses eleven panels by him, and a small panel of David with Goliath's Head in the Munich Gallery is attributed to him. The miniature painting of the Death of the Virgin in the National Gallery, London is probably the work of some pupil. In 1488 Schongauer died at Colmar, according to the register of Saint Martin Church. Other authorities state that his death occurred in 1491.
The main work of Schongauer's life was the production of a large number of beautiful engravings, which were largely sold, not only in Germany, but also in Italy and even in England and Spain. Vasari says that Michelangelo copied one of his engravings, the Trial of Saint Anthony. His style shows no trace of Italian influence, but a very clear and organised Gothic.
His subjects are mainly religious, but include comic scenes of ordinary life such as the Peasant family going to market or the Two apprentices fighting. one hundred and sixteen engravings are generally recognised as by his hand, and since several are only known from a single impression, there were probably others that are now lost. Many of his pupils' plates as well as his own are signed, M†S, as are many copies probably by artists with no connection to him.
Crucifixion by Schongauer.Among the most renowned of Schongauer's engravings are the series of the Passion and the Death and Coronation of the Virgin, and the series of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. All are remarkable for their miniature-like treatment, their brilliant touch, and their chromatic force. Some, such as the Death of the Virgin and the Adoration of the Magi are richly-filled compositions of many figures, treated with much largeness of style in spite of their minute scale.
He established the system of depicting volume by means of cross-hatching (lines in two directions) which was further developed by D??rer, and was the first engraver to curve parallel lines, probably by rotating the plate against a steady burin. He also developed a burin technique producing deeper lines on the plate, which meant that more impressions could be taken before the plate became worn.
The British Museum and other major print rooms possess fine collections of Schongauer's prints.John Henry Twatchman
John Henry Twatchman Galleries