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 master of the Pala Sforzesca attributed | Madonna in the rock grottos | Madonna of the Yarnwinder | Anatomical study of the brain and the scalp | Aurelio Luini attributed, profile of an old man |
Related Artists:HERRERA, Francisco de, the Elder
Spanish painter (b. ca. 1590, Sevilla, d.
Spanish painter. His early works are in the Mannerist style. Under the influence of Francisco Zurbaron, he developed the naturalistic style seen in his four scenes from the life of St. Bonaventure (1627). About 1650 he moved to Madrid. His last documented work, a painting of St. Joseph (1648) influenced by Anthony Van Dyck, features elongated forms and elaborate draperies. He achieved considerable fame in Sevilla, where Diego Velezquez was briefly his pupil. James Holland
English painter. As a boy he was employed for seven years to paint flowers on pottery in the factory of John Davenport ( fl 1793; d 1848) of Longport. In 1819 Holland moved to London, where he continued at first to work as a pottery painter but also undertook watercolours of flowers and natural history subjects, exhibiting his works at the Royal Academy from 1824. After 1828 oil paintings predominated over watercolours in the many pictures that he exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Society of Painters in Water-Colours (of which he was made an associate in 1835), the British Institution and the Society of British Artists. He travelled to Paris in 1831 and subsequently made repeated tours of the Continent. Buildings in European cities now became his favourite subject, and above all, scenes of Venice, which he first visited in 1835; his Venetian views have sometimes been confused with those by Richard Parkes Bonington. In 1837 he was commissioned by the Landscape Annual to make drawings in Portugal, which were engraved in the issue for 1839. He travelled again to Venice in 1845, 1851 and 1857, making sketches en route of the Low Countries, France, Switzerland and Austria. Other subjects favoured by Holland were Blackheath and Greenwich (both London), where he lived from 1830 to 1845. He was renowned for his fluent draughtsmanship and for his brilliant colouring in both oils and watercolours, making liberal use of gouache in the latter. The contents of his studio were auctioned at Christie's, London, on 26 May 1870.Nils Kreuger
Swedish, 1858-1930,Swedish painter, draughtsman and illustrator. From 1874 he studied at the Konstakademi in Stockholm, where he soon became a friend of Richard Bergh and Karl Nordstrem, both of whom were later prominent exponents of the more advanced Swedish painting of the 1880s and 1890s. After being forced to interrupt his studies because of illness, Kreuger trained from 1878 at the art school of Edvard Perseus (1841-90) in Stockholm before he travelled to Paris, where he stayed for the most part until 1887. He made his d?but at the Paris Salon in 1882, and he also resided in the artists' colony in Grez-sur-Loing. During this period he painted such works as Old Country House (1887; Stockholm, Nmus.) with a free brushwork and sense of light that owed much to Jules Bastien-Lepage. In 1885 Kreuger was active in organizing the Opponenterna, a protest movement led by Ernst Josephson against the conservative establishment of the Konstakademi in Stockholm, and the following year he helped to found the Konstn?rsf?rbund (Artists' Union). Like the majority of the Konstnersferbund's members, Kreuger abandoned the French-inspired plein-air realism of the 1880s for symbolically coloured National Romanticism in the 1890s. For Kreuger this change took place between 1893 and 1896 in Varberg on the west coast of Sweden, where, together with Bergh and Nordstrem, he founded the Varberg Group. Drawing on Paul Gauguin's Synthetism, the group contributed to the formation of the National Romantic style of the 1890s in Sweden. Kreuger's encounter with van Gogh's drawings at an exhibition in Copenhagen in 1893 also played a decisive role in his development. He devised an intensely personal style in which the landscape was composed in large blocks that were then covered by a pattern of directional lines and dots in India ink (somewhat in the manner of van Gogh's late landscape drawings) to bring out the painting's colour values and create an effect of decoratively stylized forms: for example Spring in Halland (1894; Stockholm, Nmus.). Kreuger was also a prolific draughtsman and illustrator.