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 :. | Head of a girl | Aurelio Luini attributed, profile of an old man | Profile of an old man | Jacopo Bellini | Madonna with the Yarnwinder |
Related Artists:Emmanuel de Witte
Emmanuel de Witte Gallery
Dutch painter. He was one of the last and, with Pieter Saenredam, one of the most accomplished 17th-century artists who specialized in representing church interiors. He trained with Evert van Aelst (1602-57) in Delft and in 1636 joined the Guild of St Luke at Alkmaar, but he was recorded in Rotterdam in the summers of 1639 and 1640. In October 1641 his daughter was baptized in Delft, where he entered the Guild of St Luke in June 1642 and lived for a decade, moving to Amsterdam c. 1652. He began his long career as an unpromising figure painter, as can be seen in the Vertumnus and Pomona (1644) and two small pendant portraits (1648; all Rotterdam, Mus. Boymans-van Beuningen). Pieter Jansz Saenredam
Pieter Jansz Saenredam Gallery
Saenredam was the son of the print maker and draughtsman Jan Pietersz Saenredam (1565-1607), who was born in Zaandam or, in those days, Saenredam. In 1612 he moved to Haarlem, where he became a pupil of Frans de Grebber and lived the rest of his life.
A contemporary of Rembrandt, he is noted chiefly for his surprisingly modern paintings of churches. Saenredam achieved this modern look by meticulously measuring and making sketches of the churches he wanted to paint. He would make these sketches in pencil, pen, and chalk, then and add in water colors to help give the sketch texture and color. The sketches are very architectural in detail, they convey the interior atmosphere through the clever use of light and graduated shadows. Saenredam often deliberately left people out of his work, thus also focusing more attention on buildings and their architectural forms. Only after having made precise measurements, and precise sketches and drawings of the churches, he would take them to his studio where he started to create his paintings.
The Reformation led to a rise in Protestant art, of which Saenredam??s Interior of the St. Martin's Dom in Utrecht is an example. As a Catholic church the Dom had been built with adornments. Then, in the epoch of the Eighty Years War and with the church getting in Protestant hands, it was ??cleaned?? of Catholic influences. The altarpieces and statuary were removed, and the walls and ceiling were white washed. The painting shows the church not long after its make-over. The sparse interior with illuminated corridors reflect Protestant ideals, new for Saenredam's time.
Alternatively, the paintings of church interiors by Saenredam and other 17th century Dutch painters have been interpreted as having less to do with religion and more with the new-found interest in perspective and with the Dutch interpretation (known as Dutch Classicism) of Palladio??s theories of proportion, balance and symmetry.
In any case, Saenredam wanted to memorialize his country during this time of change by documenting many of the country??s buildings. Many artists before him had specialized in imaginary and fanciful architecture, but Saenredam was the first to focus on existing buildings. According to the J. Paul Getty Trust ??Saenredam??s church paintings??owe their poetry to his remarkable blend of fact and fiction. He began by making site drawings of buildings that record measurements and detail with archaeological thoroughness.?? This meticulous preparation helped him to create such accurate and enchanting paintings. The measurements aided him in using scientific linear perspective, just like Andrea Pozzo. He was able to use his measurements to create a realistic image with depth.
The Utrecht Archives houses a large number of Saenredam's drawings. In the season 2000-2001 the Centraal Museum at Utrecht held a major exhibition of his drawings and paintings. Perhaps his best known works are a pair of oil paintings both titled Interior of the Buurkerk, Utrecht. One hangs in London's National Gallery, the other in the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. In their simplicity and semi-abstract formalism, they foreshadow more modern works such as those of Mondrian and Feininger.Louis Marie de Schryver