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 :. | Cartoon | Detail of Madonna of the Rocks | Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci | Flower Studies | Adoration of the Magi |
Related Artists:William J.Glackens
March 13.1870-May 22.1938,American painter and illustrator. He graduated in 1889 from Central High School, Philadelphia, where he had known Albert C. Barnes, who later became a noted collector of modern art. He became a reporter-illustrator for the Philadelphia Record in 1891 and later for the Philadelphia Press. In 1892 he began to attend evening classes in drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, studying under Thomas Anshutz. In the same year he became a friend and follower of Robert Henri, who persuaded him to take up oil painting in 1894. Jan Weissenbruch
painted Johan Hendrik Louis Meijer in 1850 - 1866
German Realist Painter, 1844-1900
German painter, draughtsman and etcher. In 1861 he abandoned his apprenticeship as a locksmith in order to train as a precision instrument maker, though a month or so later he decided to train as an artist, at first under the Cologne history painter and writer Hermann Becker (1817-85). In 1863 he moved to Munich; he studied there from March 1864, at the Akademie der Bildenden K?nste, initially under Philipp von Foltz and Alexander Straehuber, drawing from plaster casts, and later in Hermann Ansch?tz's painting class. Here, Arthur von Ramberg (1819-75) stimulated Leibl's sensitivity to colour; and Karl Theodor von Piloty encouraged him to observe reality and incorporate its lessons boldly into compositions on historical themes. From the start, however, Leibl tended to think of his pictures in terms of form rather than content. While at the Akademie he first reached a standard of excellence with his draughtmanship, which is notable for its directness and objectivity. As an artist, Leibl's early works were not especially promising. However, as occurred throughout his career, a long period of mediocrity was crowned by an unexpected masterpiece, such as his portrait drawing of Aunt Josepha (c. 1864; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.). This is particularly striking for Leibl's use of the hands to add to the expression of the sitter's character and mood, a device he was to use frequently in later work. In Munich, Leibl supplemented the teaching of the Akademie by studying the works of the Old Masters in the Alte Pinakothek: he paid particular attention to painters of the Baroque period such as van Dyck, Cornelis de Vos and Rubens, and also to other great masters of portraiture such as Frans Hals and Vel?zquez. The presentation of the subject found in such works is reflected in Leibl's portrait of Frau Gedon (1869; Munich, Neue Pin.). When the work was shown at the Grossen Internationale Kunstausstellung in Munich in 1869 it was singled out as the best oil painting of the exhibition by Gustave Courbet and, as a result, Leibl was honoured with an invitation to Paris, where he arrived on 13 November 1869.