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 :. | The Virgin and St Anne | Ceiling decoration yy | The Benois Madonna | Madonna with the Yarnwinder (detail) dft | St John in the Wilderness |
Related Artists:John Neagle
John Neagle Gallery
Neagle's training in art began with instruction from the drawing-master Pietro Ancora and an apprenticeship to Thomas Wilson, a well-connected painter of signs and coaches in Philadelphia. Wilson introduced him to the painters Bass Otis and Thomas Sully, and Neagle became a protege of the latter. In 1818 Neagle decided to concentrate exclusively on portraits, setting up shop as an independent master.
Aside from brief sojourns in Lexington, Kentucky, and New Orleans, Louisiana, he spent his career in Philadelphia. In May 1826 he married Sully's stepdaughter Mary, and for a time the son-in-law and father-in-law dominated the field of portraiture in the city. Neagle served as Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and was also a founder and president (1835-43) of the Artist's Fund Society of Philadelphia.Elizabeth Siddal
British Pre-Raphaelite Artist , 1829-1862
was a British artists' model, poet and artist who was painted and drawn extensively by artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Siddal was perhaps the most important model to sit for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Their ideas about feminine beauty were profoundly influenced by her, or rather she personified those ideals. She was Dante Gabriel Rossetti's model par excellence; almost all of his early paintings of women are portraits of her. She was also painted by Walter Deverell, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was the model for Millais' well known Ophelia (1852). Named Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall, after her mother, Lizzie was born on 25 July, 1829, at the family??s home at 7 Charles Street, Hatton Garden. She was born to Charles Siddall and Eleanor Evans, a family of English and Welsh descent. At the time of Lizzie??s birth, her parents were not poverty stricken. Her father had his own cutlery-making business. Around 1831, the Siddall family moved to the borough of Southwark, in south London, a less salubrious area than Hatton Garden. It was in Southwark that the rest of Lizzie??s siblings were born: Lydia, to whom Lizzie was particularly close, Mary, Clara, James and Henry. Although there is no record of her having attended school, Lizzie was able to read and write, presumably having been taught by her parents. She developed a love of poetry at a young age, after discovering a poem by Tennyson on a scrap of newspaper that had been used to wrap a pat of butter. This discovery was one of Lizzie??s inspirations to start writing her own poetry. Model for the Pre-Raphaelites Siddal, whose name was originally spelt 'Siddall' (it was Rossetti who dropped the second 'l') was first noticed by Deverell in 1849, while she was working as a milliner in Cranbourne Alley, London. She was the daughter of Charles Crooke Siddall, a cutler who claimed that his family descended from nobility, and his wife Elizabeth Eleanor Evans Siddall. Neither she nor her family had any artistic aspirations or interests. She was employed as a model by Deverell and through him was introduced to the Pre-Raphaelites. The twenty-year-old with her tall thin frame and copper hair was the first of the Pre-Raphaelite stunners. William Michael Rossetti, her brother-in-law, described her as "a most beautiful creature with an air between dignity and sweetness with something that exceeded modest self-respect and partook of disdainful reserve; tall, finely-formed with a lofty neck and regular yet somewhat uncommon features, greenish-blue unsparkling eyes, large perfect eyelids, brilliant complexion and a lavish heavy wealth of coppery golden hair.Johann Christian Klengel
Johann Christian Klengel (1751-1824), painter.