Leonardo Da Vinci
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 Annunciation | Adoration of the Magi | Adoration of the Magi | Portrait of a Lady at the Court of Milan (san05) | The Annunciation |
Related Artists:Charles Willson Peale
Painter and museum founder. After serving as a saddler's apprentice in Annapolis, MD, from 1754 to 1761, he worked at various trades, including painting signs and portraits. In 1766 some prominent Marylanders underwrote his studies in London with Benjamin West, from whom he absorbed the fundamentals of the British portrait tradition. Peale probably attended the informal life classes offered at St Martin's Lane Academy, precursor to the Royal Academy Schools, and drew from casts in the Duke of Richmond's collection in Whitehall. He visited the studios of such important British portrait painters as Joshua Reynolds, Francis Cotes and Allan Ramsay and studied the techniques of miniature painting, sculpture and engraving. In London he executed his first major commissionMakovsky, Vladimir
Painter, brother of Konstantin Makovsky. He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture from 1861 to 1866 under Sergey Zaryanko and other artists. From 1872 Makovsky was a member of the WANDERERS (Peredvizhniki). In his early pictures, Makovsky usually portrayed contemporary manners and morals in a spirit of gentle irony, as in the Lovers of Nightingales (1872-3; Moscow, Tret'yakov Gal.). Such works reveal Makovsky's skill in defining precisely and carefully the role of each figure in the scene. In the mid-1870s Makovksy began to concentrate on the central theme of most of his subsequent work: the glaring social contrasts of Russian life. Simon Marmion
(born c. 1425 at Amiens, France, died 24 or 25 December 1489, Valenciennes) was a French or Burgundian Early Netherlandish painter of panels and illuminated manuscripts. Marmion lived and worked in what is now France but for most of his lifetime was part of the Duchy of Burgundy in the Southern Netherlands.
Like many painters of his era, Marmion came from a family of artists, and both his father, Jean, and his brother Mille were painters. Marmion is recorded as working at Amiens between 1449 to 1454, and then at Valenciennes from 1458 until his death. He was patronized by Philip the Good, the Duke of Burgundy from 1454 when he was one of several artists called to Lille to work on the decorations for the Feast of the Pheasant. He was employed by several members of the ducal family, including Charles the Bold and Margaret of York. He was called "the prince of illuminators" by a near contemporary. Three years after his death his widow, Jeanne de Quaroube, married his pupil, the painter Jan Provoost, who on her death inherited the considerable Marmion estate.
Although best known for his illuminated manuscripts, Marmion also produced portraits and other paintings, altarpieces, and decorative work. A famous double-sided altarpiece with several Scenes from the life of St Bertin is in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin (with two sections in the National Gallery (London). There is a Mass of Saint Gregory in Toronto, and a Lamentation of Christ in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,three works in Philadelphia, and several others elsewhere. Stylistically he lies between his French and Flemish contemporaries, with a Flemish innovation in composition and landscape. His perspective is usually technically sound, but the proportions of his figures are often awkward, and their poses rather stiff.