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 :. | Madonna Litta (detail sdg | Portrait of a Musician dey | Virgin of the Rocks | Mona Lisa (mk45) | Ceiling decoration yy |
Related Artists:Louise-Catherine Breslau
(6 December 1856 - 12 May 1927) was a German/Swiss artist.
Born Maria Luise Katharina Breslau in Munich, Germany, she spent her childhood in Zurich, Switzerland and as an adult made Paris, France her home. Suffering from asthma all her life, Breslau turned to drawing as a child to help pass the time while confined to her bed. Although she became one of the most sought after portraitists of her time, after her death she and her work were all but forgotten. It has only been in the past few years that interest in Breslau and her works has been growing.
Breslau was born into a prosperous bourgeois family; her father was a well-respected physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. When Breslau was two years old, her father accepted the position of professor and head physician of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Zurich; Switzerland became home to the Breslau family. Ker xavier roussel
French Nabi Painter, 1867-1944
was a French painter associated with Les Nabis. Born François Xavier Roussel in Lorry-les-Metz, Moselle, at age fifteen he studied at the Lycee Condorcet in Paris; alongside his friend Édouard Vuillard, he also studied at the studio of painter Diogene Maillart. In 1888 he enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts, and soon began frequenting the Academie Julian where Maurice Denis and other students formed the group Les Nabis. He is best known for paintings of French landscapes usually depicting women, children, nymphs and fauns in bucolic settings. In 1899, Roussel, Vuillard, and another close friend, Pierre Bonnard, traveled to Lake Como, Venice and Milan. In 1926 Ker-Xavier Roussel won the Carnegie Prize for art. Ker-Xavier Roussel died in 1944 at his home in L'Étang-la-Ville, Yvelines. Roussel is mentioned in Gertrude Stein's Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, chapter 3. There she recounts an exchange he had with Theodore Duret in Vollard's shop at an uncertain date after 1904.Francois Clouet
Francois Clouet Locations
The earliest reference to him is a document dated December 1541 (see Jean Clouet), in which the king renounces for the benefit of François his father estate, which had escheated to the crown as the estate of a foreigner. In this document, the younger Clouet is said to have followed his father very closely in his art. Like his father, he held the office of groom of the chamber and painter in ordinary to the king, and so far as salary is concerned, he started where his father left off. Many drawings are attributed to this artist, often without perfect certainty. There is, however, more to go upon than there is in the case of his father.
As the praises of Francois Clouet were sung by the writers of the day, his name was carefully preserved from reign to reign, and there is an ancient and unbroken tradition in the attribution of many of his pictures. There are not, however, any original attestations of his works, nor are any documents known which would guarantee the ascriptions usually accepted. To him are attributed the portraits of Francis I at the Uffizi and at the Louvre, and various drawings relating to them. He probably also painted the portrait of Catherine de Medici at Versailles and other works, and in all probability a large number of the drawings ascribed to him were from his hand. One of his most remarkable portraits is that of Mary, queen of Scots, a drawing in chalks in the Bibliotheque Nationale, and of similar character are the two portraits of Charles IX and the one at Chantilly of Marguerite of France. Perhaps his masterpiece is the portrait of Elizabeth of Austria in the Louvre. This piece made an important impression on Claude Levi-Strauss. In particular it helped inspire his theory of the mod??le reduit, or of works of art as simplifications and scale models of the realities they represent, and other theories of artworks, in his book The Savage Mind.
Clouet resided in Paris in the rue de Ste Avoye in the Temple quarter, close to the Hotel de Guise, and in 1568 is known to have been under the patronage of Claude Gouffier de Boisy, Seigneur d Oiron, and his wife Claude de Baune. Another ascertained fact concerning Francois Clouet is that in 1571 he was summoned to the office of the Court of the Mint, and his opinion was taken on the likeness to the king of a portrait struck by the mint. He prepared the death-mask of Henry II, as in 1547 he had taken a similar mask of the face and hands of Francis I., in order that the effigy to be used at the funeral might be prepared from his drawings; and on each of these occasions he executed the painting to be used in the decorations of the church and the banners for the great ceremony.
Several miniatures are believed to be his work, one very remarkable portrait being the half-length figure of Henry II in the collection of J. Pierpont Morgan. Another of his portraits is that of Francois, duc d Alençon in the Jones collection at South Kensington, and certain representations of members of the royal family which were in the Hamilton Palace collection and the Magniac sale are usually ascribed to him. He died on the 22nd of December 1572, shortly after the massacre of St Bartholomew, and his will, mentioning his sister and his two illegitimate daughters, and dealing with the disposition of a considerable amount of property, is still in existence. His daughters subsequently became nuns.
His work is remarkable for the extreme accuracy of the drawing, the elaborate finish of all the details, and the exquisite completeness of the whole portrait. He must have been a man of high intelligence, and of great penetration, intensely interested in his work, and with considerable ability to represent the character of his sitter in his portraits. His coloring is perhaps not specially remarkable, nor from the point of style can his pictures be considered especially beautiful, but in perfection of drawing he has hardly any equal.