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 :. | Profile one with book leaves gekroten of old man | Benois Madonna | Study of the proportion of horses | Virgin of the Rocks | Madonna Litta (detail sdg |
Related Artists:George Dance the Younger
George Dance the Younger (1 April 1741 - 14 January 1825) was an English architect and surveyor. The fifth and youngest son of George Dance the Elder, he came from a distinguished family of architects, artists and dramatists. He was hailed by Sir John Summerson as "among the few really outstanding architects of the century", but few of his buildings remain.
He was educated at the St. Paul's School, London. Aged 17, he was sent to Italy to prepare himself for an architectural career and joined his brother Nathaniel, who was studying painting in Rome. George was a member of academies in Italy, showing much promise as a draughtsman, and much of his later work was inspired by Piranesi, with whom he was acquainted.
He succeeded his father as City of London surveyor and architect on his father's death in 1768, when he was only 27. He had already distinguished himself by designs for Blackfriars Bridge, sent to the 1761 exhibition of the Incorporated Society of Artists.
His earliest London project was the rebuilding of All Hallows-on-the-Wall church in 1767. His first major public works were the rebuilding of Newgate Prison in 1770 and the front of the Guildhall, London. His other London works include the church of St Bartholomew-the-Less (1797). In Bath he largely designed the Theatre Royal, built by John Palmer in 1804-5. Sir John Soane was a pupil.
Many of his buildings have been demolished, including the Royal College of Surgeons, Newgate Prison, St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics, the Shakespeare Gallery in Pall Mall, the library at Lansdowne House, the Common Council Chamber and Chamberlain's Court at the Guildhall, Ashburnham Place, and Stratton Park (demolished save for its Tuscan portico)
With his brother Nathaniel, he was a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768, and its second professor of architecture, from 1798 to 1805. For a number of years, he was the last survivor of the 40 original Academicians.
British Allan Ramsay Galleries
Allan Ramsay was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the eldest son of Allan Ramsay, poet and author of The Gentle Shepherd.
Ramsay's first wife, Anne Bayne, by Ramsay
Ramsay's second wife Margaret Lindsay, by RamsayFrom the age of twenty he studied in London under the Swedish painter Hans Huyssing, and at the St. Martin's Lane Academy; leaving in 1736 for Rome and Naples, where he worked for three years under Francesco Solimena and Imperiali (Francesco Fernandi). On his return in 1738 he first settled in Edinburgh, attracting attention by his head of Duncan Forbes of Culloden and his full-length portrait of the Duke of Argyll, later used on Royal Bank of Scotland banknotes. He later moved to London, where he was employed by the Duke of Bridgewater. His pleasant manners and varied culture, not less than his artistic skill, contributed to render him popular. His only serious competitor was Thomas Hudson, with whom he shared a drapery painter, Joseph van Aken. In 1739 he married his first wife, Anne Bayne, the daughter of a professor of Scots law at Edinburgh, Alexander Bayne of Rires (c.1684?C1737), and Mary Carstairs (1695??C1759). None of their 3 children survived childhood, and she died on 4 February 1743 giving birth to the third of them.
One of his drawing pupils was Margaret Lindsay, eldest daughter of Sir Alexander Lindsay of Evelick and Amelia Murray (granddaughter to David Murray, 5th Viscount of Stormont and sister to the naval officer John Lindsay). He later eloped with her and on 1 March 1752 they married in the Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh, though her father never forgave her for marrying an artist. Ramsay already had to maintain a daughter from his previous marriage as well as his two surviving sisters, but told Sir Alexander that he could provide Margaret with an annual income of £100 which would increase ??as my affairs increase, and I thank God, they are in a way of increasing?? and that his only motive for the marriage was ??my love for your Daughter, who, I am sensible, is entitled to much more than ever I shall have to bestow upon her??. There were three surviving children from their long and happy marriage, Amelia (1755?C1813), Charlotte (1758?C1818?), and John (1768?C1845).
Ramsay and his new wife spent 1754?C1757 together in Italy, going to Rome, Florence, Naples and Tivoli, researching, painting and drawing old masters, antiquities and archaeological sites, and (to earn an income) painting Grand Tourists' portraits. This and other trips to Italy involved more literary and antiquarian research than art. After their return, he was in 1761 appointed to succeed John Shackelton as Principle Painter in Ordinary to George III, beating Hudson to the post; and so fully employed was he on the royal portraits which the king was in the habit of presenting to ambassadors and colonial governors, that he was forced to take advantage of the services of a host of assistants--of whom David Martin and Philip Reinagle are the best known.
He gave up painting in about 1770 to concentrate on literary pursuits, his health shattered by an accidental dislocation of the right arm and his second wife's death in 1782. With unflinching pertinacity, he struggled until he had completed a likeness of the king upon which he was engaged at the time, and then started for his beloved Italy, leaving behind him a series of fifty royal portraits to be completed by his assistant Reinagle. For several years he lingered in the south, his constitution finally broken. He died at Dover on 10 August 1784.Luce, Maximilien
French Pointillist Painter, 1858-1941
French painter and printmaker. He was born and brought up in the working-class surroundings of Montparnasse, and an interest in the daily routines and labours of the petit peuple of Paris informs much of his art. After an apprenticeship with the wood-engraver Henri Theophile Hildebrand (b 1824), in 1876 he entered the studio of the wood-engraver Eugene Froment where he assisted in the production of engravings for various French and foreign publications such as L'Illustration and The Graphic. He also sporadically attended classes at the Academie Suisse and in the studio of Carolus-Duran. In Froment's studio he came into contact with the artists Leo Gausson and Emile-Gustave Peduzzi