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 :. | Mona Lisa | The master of the Pala Sforzesca attributed | The Baptism of Christ (detail) sg | Ceiling decoration yy | Madonna with a Flower |
Related Artists:Dirck van Baburen
b.c. 1595, Utrecht, Netherlands.
d.Feb. 21, 1624, Utrecht
Dirck van Baburen GalleryBASCHENIS, Evaristo
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1617-1677
Evaristo Baschenis (December 7, 1617 ?C March 16, 1677) was an Italian Baroque painter of the 17th century, active mainly around his native city of Bergamo. He was born to a family of artists. He is best known for still lifes, most commonly of musical instruments. This could explain his friendship with a family with notable violin makers from Cremona. Still-life depictiona were uncommon as a thematic among Italian painters prior to the 17th century. Baschenis, along with the more eccentric 16th century painter Milanese Arcimboldo, represents provincial outputs with idiosyncratic tendencies that appear to appeal to the discernment of forms and shapes rather than grand manner themes of religious or mythologic events. For Arcimboldo, the artifice is everything; for Baschenis, the items, man-made musical instruments, have a purpose and a beauty even in their silent geometry. One source for his photographic style of still life could be Caravaggio's early painting of peaches, or alternatively, Dutch paintings. The most faithful imitator of his style is a younger contemporary Bergamese, Bartolomeo Bettera. Baschenis is a contemporary of the Bergamese portrait artist, Carlo Ceresa, and appears to have been influential for the Modenese artist Cristoforo Munari.Catharina Van Hemessen
was a Flemish Renaissance painter. She is the earliest female Flemish painter for whom there is verifiable extant work. As with many Renaissance female painters, she was the daughter of a painter, Jan Sanders van Hemessen (c. 1500-after 1563), who was likely her teacher. She went on to create portraits of wealthy men and women often posed against a dark background. Included in her body of work is a self-portrait done in Basel. She has inscribed the painting with the year, 1548, and her age, 20 years. Her success is marked by her good standing in the Guild of St. Luke and her eventual position as teacher to three male students. Van Hemessen gained an important patron in the 1540s, Maria of Austria, who served as regent of the Low Countries for her brother Charles V. In 1554, she married Christian (or Christien) de Morien, an organist at the Antwerp Cathedral, which was at that time an important post. In 1556, when Maria resigned her post and returned to Spain, Caterina and her husband also moved, on invitation of her patron, to Spain. And two years later, when Maria died, Caterina was given a sizeable pension for life. Caterina and her husband returned to Antwerp. She was mentioned in Guicciardini's Description of the Low Countries of 1567 as one of the living women artists. She died after 1587. She mainly created portraits characterized by realism. The sitters, often seated, were usually seen against a dark or neutral ground. This type of framing and setting made for an intimate portrait. There are no extant works from after 1554, which has led some historians to believe her artistic career might have ended after her marriage. Van Hemessen is often given the distinction of creating the first self-portrait of an artist, of either gender, depicted seated at an easel.