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 :. | Bacchus | Portrait of a Lady at the Court of Milan (san05) | Regisol | Madonna of the Rocks | Portrait of Mona Lisa,La Gioconda (mk05) |
Related Artists:Tadeusz Kuntze
painted Art. in 1754-1755
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1624-1673
Painter and draughtsman, brother of Carel Fabritius. Like Carel, he was first taught painting by his father, also learnt carpentry and practised as an artisan in Midden-Beemster in 1641. He is documented in Amsterdam in 1643 and 1647, though it is not known if, like his brother, he was also a pupil of Rembrandt. Nevertheless, his style is similar to that of the Rembrandt school. He must have been trained in the second half of the 1640s. His work is reminiscent of the style of his brother, who clearly influenced and may also have instructed him. In 1652 Barent lived in Amsterdam and married Catharina Mussers in Midden-Beemster. In the following years he is documented alternately in Midden-Beemster and Amsterdam. He painted a group portrait of the town master builder, Willem Leenderstsz. van der Helm and his Family (1656; Amsterdam, Rijksmus.), in Leiden, and in 1660-61 he received further commissions for the Lutheran church in Leiden. From 1669 Barent lived with his family in Amsterdam, where he died at the age of 49. He was buried in the churchyard in Leiden that was usually reserved for the poorer inhabitants of Amsterdam.Claude Marie Dubufe
painted Portrait de la marechale duchesse de Feltre in before 1852