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 :. | Studies of children | The Last Supper | Adoration of the Magi (mk08) | Details of Mona Lisa | A rock gorge |
Related Artists:Matthias Stomer
Amersfoort ca.1600-Sicily after 1650Telemaco signorini
Italian Painter, 1835-1901
was an Italian artist who belonged to the group known as the Macchiaioli. He was born in the Santa Croce quarter of Florence, and showed an early inclination toward the study of literature, but with the encouragement of his father, Giovanni Signorini, a court painter for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, he decided instead to study painting. In 1852 he enrolled at the Florentine Academy, and by 1854 he was painting landscapes en plein air. The following year he exhibited for the first time, showing paintings inspired by the works of Walter Scott and Machiavelli at the Florentine Promotrice. In 1855, he began frequenting the Caffe Michelangiolo in Florence, where he met Giovanni Fattori, Silvestro Lega, and several other Tuscan artists who would soon be dubbed the Macchiaioli. The Macchiaioli, dissatisfied with the antiquated conventions taught by the Italian academies of art, started painting outdoors in order to capture natural light, shade, and color. They were forerunners of the Impressionists who, beginning in the 1860s, would pursue similar aims in France. Signorini was a volunteer in the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859, and afterwards painted military scenes which he exhibited in 1860 and 1861. He made his first trip outside Italy in 1861 when he visited Paris, to which he would often return in the decades that followed. There he met Degas and a group of expatriate Italian artists in his orbit, including Giovanni Boldini, Giuseppe De Nittis, and Federico Zandomeneghi; unlike them, however, Signorini remained rooted in Italy. He became not only one of the leading painters of the Macchiaioli, but also their leading polemicist. Art historian Giuliano Matteucci has written: "If we acknowledge Fattori and Lega as the major creative figures of the macchiaioli, then Signorini must surely be recognized as their 'deus ex machina'", Nicolaes Eliaszoon Pickenoy
(10 January 1588 - 1653/1656) was a Dutch painter of Flemish origin. Pickenoy was possibly a pupil of Cornelis van der Voort and presumably Bartholomeus van der Helst was his own pupil.
He was the son of the Antwerp monumental mason Elias Claeszoon Pickenoy (1565-1640) and Heijltje Laurens s'Jonge (1562-1638), who emigrated to Amsterdam before Nicolaes Pickenoy was born. In 1621, living near the Oude Kerk, he married Levijntje Bouwens (1599-na 1656), an orphan of 21 years. They had ten children: Sara and Elias died young.
Pickenoy painted large Schuttersstukken, group portraits of the regents of the orphanage, and individual portraits of local or national celebrities like Nicolaes Tulp, Cornelis de Graeff, Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp and Jochem Hendrickszoon Swartenhont, Elisabeth Bas's husband. The earliest picture ascribed to the artist is "Dr. Sebastiaen Egbertz de Vrij's Osteological Presentation" of 1619, now in Amsterdam Historisch Museum. His heyday was ca. 1630-1637, a period marked by a high artistic level and numerous commissions from prominent patrons. After 1637 he painted little, save for a number of prestigiouseand lucrativeegroup portraits. Besides portraits, he also painted a small number of biblical subjects, one of which can be seen in the Museum Catharijneconvent. The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and Amsterdams Historisch Museum holds many of his best works, not least the Schutterstukken or militia paintings.
In 1637 he bought from Adriaen Pauw the house on the corner of Sint Anthoniessluis and Jodenbreestraat, a fashionable area with many painters, art dealers, jewellers and so on. The house had previously been owned by his supposed master, Cornelis van der Voort, and later by Hendrick van Uylenburgh. During the years 1631-1634 the latter was collaborating with Rembrandt van Rijn, who painted numerous portraits for Van Uylenburgh's art business. Thus the house Pickenoy purchased had been a centre of Amsterdam portraiture for decades. In 1639 Rembrandt returned to the neighbourhood as he bought the house next to Pickenoys, the present day Rembrandthuis. Rembrandt could leave his house via an exit onto the Zwanenburgwal under the house of his neighbor Pickenoy. He brought out Night Watchepainted in his courtyarderolled up through the tunnel. Like Rembrandt, Pickenoy was not able to bring up the loan and so after eight years he sold the house.
The work of Pickenoy is difficult to distinguish from that of some of his contemporaries. Typical of Pickenoy are the fiercely invading light that makes the heads stand out sharply, the somewhat exaggerated gestures, the large greenish brown shadows and the odd-shaped eyes.