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 :. | Jacopo Bellini | Battle of Anghiari | Anatomical study of the brain and the scalp | The Last Supper | Madonna in the rock grotto |
Related Artists:Matthijs Maris
Dutch Painter, 1839-1917
Brother of Jacob Maris. In 1851 he was apprenticed for one year to Isaac Elink Sterk (1808-71); from 1852 to 1855 he attended classes at the Academie in The Hague, and in 1854 he joined the studio of Louis Meijer, where his brother Jacob was also working. It was due to Meijer that in 1855 he was granted a monthly allowance by Queen Sophie to continue his training in Antwerp, where he moved in with Jacob. Through his studies at the Academie, Matthijs met the German painter Georg Laves, who introduced him to the work of the 19th-century German Romantic painters, in particular Ludwig Richter.James Ward
English Romantic Painter, 1769-1859
English painter and engraver. He was the most important animal painter of his generation. Many of his dynamic compositions depict horses, dogs or wild animals in agitated emotional states, the sense of movement being reinforced by vigorous brushwork and strong colours. With their sweeping landscapes and dramatic skies, his canvases epitomize Romanticism. Not content to excel merely as an animal painter, Ward also produced portraits, landscapes and genre and history paintings of varying quality.Matthaus Gunther
the most prolific fresco painter of the eight- eenth century in central Europe.
He was an important German painter and artist of the Baroque and Rococo era. Gunther helped develop the rococo style of painting in Bavaria and Tyrol, working on over 40 churches. His known work includes about 70 frescoes and 25 panels. In particular, he was known for his life-like imagery and lively coloring. Gunther studied in Munich from 1723 to 1728 with Cosmas Damian Asam, the older of the two Asam brothers, and perfected his fresco painting in Augsburg. He frequently worked with some of the greatest artists of his time, including the architect Johann Michael Fischer and the plasterer Johann Michael Feuchtmayer and his brother Franz Xaver.