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 :. | Anatomy of the Schadels | The Madonna of the Carnation (detail) sg | Madonna with the Yarnwinder (detail) dft | Mona Lisa | The Virgin and Child with St Anne |
Related Artists:Anders Zorn
Swedish painter, etcher and sculptor. He was brought up by his grandparents at Mora. As he displayed a precocious talent for drawing he was admitted to the preparatory class of the Kungliga Akademi for de Fria Konsterna, Stockholm, at the age of 15. Dissatisfied with the outdated teaching and discipline of the Academy and encouraged by his early success as a painter of watercolour portraits and genre scenes (e.g. Old Woman from Mora, 1879; Mora, Zornmus.) Zorn left the Academy in 1881 to try to establish an international career. He later resided mainly in London but also travelled extensively in Italy, France, Spain, Algeria and the Balkans and visited Constantinople. However, he continued to spend most of his summers in Sweden.CRETI, Donato
Italian painter, Bolognese school (b. 1671, Bologna, d. 1749, Bologna)
Italian painter and draughtsman. His individual and poetic art represents, with that of Marcantonio Franceschini, the last significant expression of the classical-idealist strain in Bolognese painting. His activity was almost wholly confined to Bologna, where he painted decorative frescoes, altarpieces and easel pictures for private collectors. Two qualities are paramount: a perfected finesse of handling and poetic suggestiveness of situation and mood. He sought the ideal beauty of the individual figure and was thus at his best in meditative pictures with few figures; his subjects combine grace of form and precision of contour with flesh that attains the surface delicacy of porcelain and colours that have a mineral-like refulgence.Wilhelm Marstrand
(24 December 1810 - 25 March 1873), painter and illustrator, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark to Nicolai Jacob Marstrand, instrument maker and inventor, and Petra Othilia Smith. Marstrand is one of the most renowned artists belonging to the Golden Age of Danish Painting.
Marstrand studied at Copenhagen's Metropolitan School (Metropolitanskolen), but had little interest in books, and left around 16 years of age. Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, painter and professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Art (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi) in Copenhagen, was a close friend of Wilhelm's father, and it was to all appearance Eckersberg who recommended an artistic career for young Wilhelm. Wilhelm had already shown artistic talent, tackling difficult subjects such as group scenes with many figures and complicated composition.
At 16 years of age Marstrand thus began his studies at the Academy under Eckersberg, attending the school from 1826 to 1833. Although his interests had a firm hold in genre themes - depiction of the daily life he observed around him in Copenhagen's streets, especially middle class society - he would soon reach for the pinnacle of Academic acceptability: the history painting.
History painting displayed what was grand - classical themes from mythology and history, rather than daily life. The traditions, and the taste of traditional art critics, strongly favored it. It was therefore something to strive for, in spite of Marstrand's equal skill at depicting more modest themes, and of the enjoyment he had in portraying the crowds, the diversions of the city, and the humor and story behind the hustle and bustle. Marstrand's creative production would, through many paintings and illustrations made not only during the 1830s but throughout his life, never abandon this inclination toward displaying the simple life of his times.
At the same time Christian Waagepetersen, wine merchant to the Danish court and supporter of the arts, also became an important patron for Marstrand during this early period. His painting "A musical evening party" (Et musikalsk aftenselskab) (1834), depicts such an occasion at the home of Waagepetersen, and was an important transition painting for Marstrand.
Despite an unmistakably growing recognition, Marstrand never received the Academy's gold medal. This medal was coveted not only for its great prestige, but also because it came with a travel stipend for furthering the laureate's artistic training. Marstrand's attempts at winning the medal were unsuccessful both in 1833 with his neoclassical "Flight to Egypt" (Flugten til Ægypten) and in 1835 with "Odysseus and Nausikaa". This was a disappointment, as he had won both available silver medals in 1833.