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-u | Study for a kneeling Leda | Adoration of the Magi | Virgin and Child with St Anne | Pod of cherry and forest strawberry |
Related Artists:Charles Willson Peale
Painter and museum founder. After serving as a saddler's apprentice in Annapolis, MD, from 1754 to 1761, he worked at various trades, including painting signs and portraits. In 1766 some prominent Marylanders underwrote his studies in London with Benjamin West, from whom he absorbed the fundamentals of the British portrait tradition. Peale probably attended the informal life classes offered at St Martin's Lane Academy, precursor to the Royal Academy Schools, and drew from casts in the Duke of Richmond's collection in Whitehall. He visited the studios of such important British portrait painters as Joshua Reynolds, Francis Cotes and Allan Ramsay and studied the techniques of miniature painting, sculpture and engraving. In London he executed his first major commissionHenri van Assche
born at Brussels in 1774, showed from his earliest years a predilection for painting, and received from his father, who was a distinguished amateur artist, the first principles of design and perspective. He was afterwards placed with Deroy of Brussels, from whom he received further instructions in painting. Journeys in Switzerland and Italy contributed to develop his talent as a landscape painter. His great partiality for representing waterfalls, mountain streams, and mills gained for him the name of 'The Painter of Waterfalls.' Several pictures by him may be seen in public and private collections of Brussels, Ghent, Lille, and Haarlem, some of which are enriched with figures and animals by Ommeganck. He died at Brussels in 1841.
Anthonie van Montfoort
(Montfoort, 1533 or 1534 - Utrecht, 1583) was a Dutch painter
His father was a mayor of Montfoort. He went to learn under Hendrick Sweersz. in Delft and Frans Floris in Antwerp. In 1552 he returned to Montfoort, where he married the daughter of the then mayor.
Blocklandt then settled in Delft, where he produced paintings for the Oude Kerk and the Nieuwe Kerk, later lost to the beeldenstorm. Also he painted a work for the Janskerk (Gouda) called De onthoofding van Saint-Jacob, now in the museum there.
In 1572, Blocklandt made a trip to Italy, after which he settled for good in Utrecht, joining a guild there in 1577. In 1579, he painted his best known work, the triptych The Assumption of Mary that is now in the Basilica of St. Martin in Bingen am Rhein.
According to Carel van Mander, Blocklandt painted biblical scenes, mythological subjects and portraits. He is early-Mannerist in style and he and Joos de Beer (another pupil of Floris) were responsible for the Mannerist style begun by Utrecht artists around 1590. Van Mander wrote that De Beer had many paintings by Blocklandt in his workshop that his pupil Abraham Bloemaert later copied. Few works can definitely be attributed to him. One of these is "Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's dream", now in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht.
He was also the teacher of the Delft portrait painter Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt.