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 :. | Adoration of the Magi (mk08) | Anatomical studies of the basin of the Steibeins and the lower Gliedmaben of a woman and study of the rotation of the arms | Study fur the Sforza-Reiterstandbild | Virgin of the Rocks | The Virgin and St Anne |
Related Artists:Justus van Gent
(or Joos van Wassenhove), Justus or Jodocus of Ghent, or Giusto da Guanto (c. 1410 - c. 1480) was an Early Netherlandish painter who later worked in Italy.
The public records of the city of Ghent have been diligently searched, but in vain, for a clue to the history of Justus or Jodocus, whom Vasari and Guicciardini called Giusto da Guanto. Flemish annalists of the 16th century have enlarged upon the scanty, unsourced statements of Vasari, and described Jodocus as a pupil of Hubert van Eyck. The registers of the Guild of St Luke at Ghent comprise six masters of the name of Joos or Jodocus who practised at Ghent in the 15th century. But none of the works of these masters has been preserved, and it is impossible to compare their style with that of Giusto.
Federico da Montefeltro and His Son, GuidobaldoBetween 1465 and 1474, this artist executed the Communion of the Apostles which Vasari described, and which is now in the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in Urbino. It was painted for the brotherhood of Corpus Christi at the bidding of Frederick of Montefeltro, who was introduced into the picture as the companion of Caterino Zeno, a Persian envoy at that time on a mission to the court of Urbino. From this curious production it may be seen that Giusto, far from being a pupil of the putative Hubert Van Eyck, must have been studied with a later master, possibly Dieric Bouts.
As a composer and draughtsman Giusto compares unfavourably with the better-known painters of Flanders; though his portraits are good, his ideal figures are not remarkable for subtlety of character and expression. Technically, he compares on a level with that of Geertgen tot Sint Jans, whose most famous pictures are preserved in the Kunsthistorisches Museum at Vienna. Vespasian, a Florentine bookseller who contributed much to form the antiquarian taste of Frederick of Montefeltro, states that this duke sent to the Netherlands for a capable artist to paint a series of ancient worthies for a library recently erected in the palace of Urbino. It has been conjectured that the author of these 28 portraits of "Famous Men," which are still in existence at the Louvre and in the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche at Urbino, was Justus van Gent.
Seven (?) Liberal Arts: a young man (Constanzo Sforza?) before Music (National Gallery, London). Another painting from this cycle, with Federigo da Montefeltro before Rhetoric was destroyed in Berlin in 1945Yet there are notable divergences between these pictures and the Communion of the Apostles. Still, it is possible that Giusto should have been able, after a certain time, to temper his Flemish style by studying the masterpieces of Santi and Melozzo, and so to acquire the mixed manner of the Flemings and Italians which these portraits of worthies display. Such an assimilation, if it really took place, might justify the Flemings in the indulgence of a certain pride, considering that Raphael not only admired these worthies, but copied them in the sketch-book which is now the ornament of the Venetian Academy. There is no ground for presuming that Giusto da Guanto is identical with Justus d'Allamagna who painted the Annunciation (1451) in the cloisters of Santa Maria di Castello at Genoa. The drawing and coloring of this wall painting shows that Justus d'Allamagna was as surely a native of south Germany as his homonym at Urbino was a born Netherlander.
ESCALANTE, Juan Antonio Frias y
Spanish painter, Madrid school (b. 1633, Cordoba, d. 1670, Madrid)Antonio da Firenze
Italian Early Renaissance Painter, ca.1445-1510