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 :. | Mona Lisa | The Adoration of the Magi | Madonna with the Yarnwinder tw | Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci sg | Profile one with book leaves gekroten of old man |
Related Artists:FERRETTI, Giovanni Domenico
Italian painter, Florentine school (1692-1747)Wynford Dewhurst
Wynford Dewhurst was born in Manchester in 1864. He was educated at home by a private tutor and later at Mintholme College. Although he originally trained to enter the legal profession, he showed artistic flair and decided to pursue a career as a painter after some of his drawings were published in various journals.
He gained his artistic training in France at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in Paris, where he was a pupil of the renowned French painter Jean-L??on Gerome. Despite his teacher Gerome rejection of the radical Impressionist movement in favour of a highly finished academic style (Gerome continued the development and conservation of French Neoclassicism), Dewhurst was heavily influenced by the Impressionists. It is well known that he first encountered Impressionism, to which he was instantly attracted, in the work of Emile Claus in the Maddocks Collection in Bradford. However his most important mentor would become Claude Monet.
It was Monet to whom Dewhurst dedicated his pioneering account of French Impressionism, Impressionist Painting: its genesis and development, in 1904. This was the first important study of the French painters to be published in English. As well as helping to reintroduce British artists to this style of painting, Dewhurst book called attention to the French Impressionists debt to the British artists John Constable and J. M. W. Turner, claiming that the Impressionists simply developed their existing painterly techniques. According to Dewhurst, artists who, like himself, painted in an impressionist manner, were often sneered at for imitating a foreign style, and he was keen to justify their position. French artists simply developed a style which was British in its conception, he wrote, a view that was dismissed by some French painters - such as Pissarro - who revealed his national bias when he acknowledged Constable and Turner but identified instead French influences like Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Jean-Baptiste-Sim??on Chardin and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. The thesis that Dewhurst put forward in Impressionist Painting was controversial for it dealt with the debated question of whether Impressionism was French or British in origin. However, it found much support in Britain: Kevin McConkey informs us that Dewhurst theme was taken up by others as various as Clausen, John Rothenstein and Kenneth Clark Nevertheless, Dewhurst detailed biographical notices of the most prominent artists associated with the rise of impressionism in France...leave little to be desired from the historical point of view. It is worth noting that Impressionist Painting also included an entire chapter on female artists, since modernity is the note of Impressionism, and that movement was the very first artistic revolt in which women took part. Indeed, Dewhurst thanks the celebrated female painter Mary Cassatt (who worked within the Impressionist circle) for her assistance in the preface of his book.Ignacio Zuloaga
Spanish Painter, 1870-1945
was a Spanish Basque painter, born in Eibar, in the Basque country, near the monastery of Loyola. He was the son of metalworker and damascener Placido Zuloaga and grandson of the organizer and director of the royal armoury in Madrid. In his youth, he drew and worked in his father's workshop. He was educated by the Jesuits in France. His father wanted him to be an architect, and with this objective in mind, he was sent to Rome, where he immediately followed the strong impulse that led him to painting. After only six months' work he completed his first picture, which was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1890. Continuing his studies in Paris, where he lived for five years, he was strongly influenced by Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Only upon returning to his native land did he find his true style, which is based on the national Spanish tradition embodied in the work of Diego Velazquez, Francisco de Zurbaran, El Greco, and Francisco Goya. Bleeding Christ; or Blood Christ (El cristo de la Sangre) (1911)His own country was slow in acknowledging the young artist whose strong, decorative and rugged style stood in opposition to the styles of well-known modern Spanish artists such as Fortuny, Madrazo,