Leonardo Da Vinci
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 :. | Study for a kneeling Leda | Mona Lisa | The Annunciation | Detail of Madonna of the Rocks | Madonna of the Rocks |
Related Artists:Caroline Watson
British 1760-1814,Daughter of James Watson. In 1780 she signed a stipple print of Isaac Watts and was soon employed by John Boydell (e.g. Prince William of Gloucester, 1784, after Joshua Reynolds). In 1785 she became Engraver to Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), a keen print collector. She was particularly fitted to working after miniatures, such was the delicacy of her engraving, and some of her best prints are portraits and small subjects after Samuel Shelley (c. 1750-1808). She did private commissions of this kind, notably for the Bute family, and also engraved large plates, some for the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery, including the Death of Cardinal Beaufort (1792) after Reynolds, allegedly at his request. She was employed by William Hayley (1745-1820) on his Life of George Romney Esq (London, 1809), and the correspondence involved shows her as a reliable and respected professional. Benjamin Williams Leader
British Painter, 1831-1923
was an English artist. Born in Worcester as Benjamin Leader Williams, he was the son of civil engineer Edward Leader Williams (who was also a keen amateur artist and friend of John Constable) and Quaker Sarah Whiting. His brother, also called Edward Leader Williams, followed in his father's footsteps and became a notable civil engineer. The family lived in Worcester at Diglis House. Williams Leader was educated at the Royal Grammar School Worcester and then the Royal Academy Schools. He immediately became successful as an artist and first exhibited his work at the Royal Academy in 1854. Since that year until his death in 1923 his paintings were hung in every summer exhibition at the Royal Academy. He was knighted as Chevalier of the Legion of Honour by the French in 1889 and was created a full member of the Royal Academy in 1898 (RA - Royal Academician). In 1914 he was given the Freedom of the City of Worcester in recognition of his services (as a director of Royal Worcester Porcerlain and a native of the city). Famous paintings include February Fill Dyke and Autumn's Last Gleam. His paintings were bought by King George V and William Gladstone amongst others, and he became one of the most popular and expensive artists of his day. His works received popular approval for their verisimilitude, and the fame of February Fill Dyke, facilitated by an etching, spread to London, Paris, and the United States.Vincenzo Campi
Vincenzo Campi (c. 1536 - 1591) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance from Cremona.
His style merges Lombard with Mannerist styles, however, unlike his siblings, he is known for a series of canvases, mostly painted after 1570s , displaying genre scenes and local produce. Many set at a food store front of some sort. At the time, this type of paintings were uncommon in Italy, and more common in Netherlands, as exemplified by the canvases of Joachim Beuckelaer.
In Cremona, his extended family was the main artistic studio of his time. Giulio Campi and Antonio Campi were reportedly half-brothers, while Bernardino Campi was a distant relative. All were active and prominent local painters. In 1586-1589, he and his brother Antonio completed paintings for the church of San Paolo Converso in Milan.