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 :. | Portrait of Ginerva de'Benci | Virgin of the Rocks (mk10) | The Madonna of the Carnation | Detail of Madonna of the Rocks | The Annunciation d |
Related Artists:edward hopper
American painter, printmaker and illustrator. He was brought up in a town on the Hudson River, where he developed an enduring love of nautical life. When he graduated from Nyack Union High School in 1899, his parents, although supportive of his artistic aspirations, implored him to study commercial illustration rather than pursue an economically uncertain career in fine art. He studied with the Correspondence School of Illustrating in New York City (1899-1900). He continued to study illustration at the New York School of Art (1900-1906), under Arthur Keller (1866-1925) and Frank Vincent Du Mond (1865-1951), but began to study painting and drawing after a year. Hopper began in the portrait and still-life classes of William Merrit Chase, to whose teaching he later referred only infrequently and disparagingly. He preferred the classes he took with Kenneth Hayes Miller and especially those of Robert Henri. Hopper s skill won his fellow students respect, as well as honours in the school where, by 1905, he was teaching Saturday classes.
Italian Mannerist Painter, ca.1530-1593
Italian painter, draughtsman and tapestry designer, active also in Austria and Bohemia. He came from a distinguished Milanese family that included a number of archbishops of the city; his father was the painter Biagio Arcimboldo. Giuseppe is first documented in 1549, working with his father for Milan Cathedral; he received payments until 1558 for supplying paintings, designs for an altar baldacchino and stained-glass windows for the cathedral: the Story of Lot and the Life of St Catherine in the south transept windows are usually attributed to him. He collaborated with Giuseppe Meda in designing the gonfalone of St Ambrose in Milan, probably sometime soon after 1558. In 1556 he received a commission to paint the south wall and vault of the south transept of Monza Cathedral, also in Lombardy, a work that must have been completed by 1562. Portions of a fresco of the Tree of Jesse on the south wall there can be attributed to him. In 1558 he was paid for designing tapestries for Como Cathedral (in situ). On the basis of stylistic comparison with the windows in Milan and the frescoes in Monza, the design of a tapestry representing St John the Baptist Preaching and Baptizing (Monza, Mus. Duomo) can be attributed to Arcimboldo. The Archbishop of Milan, Carlo Borromeo, probably paid for this tapestry.Juan Gris
Born in Madrid, he studied mechanical drawing at the Escuela de Artes y Manufacturas in Madrid from 1902 to 1904, during which time he contributed drawings to local periodicals. From 1904 to 1905 he studied painting with the academic artist Jose Maria Carbonero.
In 1906 he moved to Paris and became friends with Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Fernand Leger, and in 1915 he was painted by his friend, Amedeo Modigliani. In Paris, Gris followed the lead of another friend and fellow countryman, Pablo Picasso. His portrait of Picasso in 1912 is a significant early Cubist painting done by a painter other than Picasso or Georges Braque. (Although he regarded Picasso as a teacher, Gertrude Stein acknowledged that Gris "was the one person that Picasso would have willingly wiped off the map.")
Portrait of Picasso, 1912, The Art Institute of Chicago.Although he submitted darkly humorous illustrations to journals such as Le Rire, L'assiette au beurre, Le Charivari, and Le Cri de Paris, Gris began to paint seriously in 1910. By 1912 he had developed a personal Cubist style.
At first Gris painted in the analytic style of Cubism, but after 1913 he began his conversion to synthetic Cubism, of which he became a steadfast interpreter, with extensive use of papier coll??. Unlike Picasso and Braque, whose Cubist works were monochromatic, Gris painted with bright harmonious colors in daring, novel combinations in the manner of his friend Matisse.
In 1924, he first designed ballet sets and costumes for Sergei Diaghilev and the famous Ballets Russes.
Gris articulated most of his aesthetic theories during 1924 and 1925. He delivered his definitive lecture, Des possibilit??s de la peinture, at the Sorbonne in 1924. Major Gris exhibitions took place at the Galerie Simon in Paris and the Galerie Flechtheim in Berlin in 1923, and at the Galerie Flechtheim in D??sseldorf in 1925.
He died in Boulogne-sur-Seine (Paris) in the spring of 1927 at the age of forty, leaving a wife, Josette, and a son, Georges.