Leonardo Da Vinci
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 :. | Portrait of Cecilia Gallarani | Madonna of the Rocks | Portrait of Ginerva de'Benci-u | Christ's Head | The Last Supper-l |
Related Artists:Sir Edward john Poynter,Bart.PRA,RWS
Russian Painter, 1834-1882
Russian painter. Son of a public prosecutor, he studied intermittently at Arzamas from 1846 to 1849 at the Art School of Alexander Stupin (1776-1862), a classicist painter whose School was the first of its type in provincial Russia, and during the 1850s at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under Sergey Zaryanko. The work of Pavel Fedotov, pictorial satire in the press and genre scenes by the Old Dutch masters and William Hogarth were the greatest formative influences on Perov. His early works, permeated by a Biedermeier romantic spirit, combine detailed brushwork with anecdotal narrative and aim at criticizing social behaviour in line with the contemporary democratic doctrines of such writers as Nikolay Chernyshevsky. Such anti-clerical pictures as the Village Sermon (1861; Moscow, Tret'yakov Gal.) are distinguished by a particular irony. As in the prose of Nikolai Leskov, which has many affinities with Perov's painting, there is a conflict between feelings of love and hatred, and between an intimate knowledge of the daily life of the people and an alienating irony. In 1862-4 Perov travelled abroad, working mainly in Paris, where he painted a series of vivid genre scenes of city life. Perov's success as a genre painter reached its peak in the latter half of the 1860s. His compositions become more laconic and expressive; overcoming an indisciplined use of colour, he achieved an impressive unity with an austere greyish-brown palette. Such works as the Drowned Girl (1867) and the Last Tavern by the City Gates Frederick Edwin Church
Frederick Edwin Church Galleries
Frederic Edwin Church (May 4, 1826 ?C April 7, 1900) was an American landscape painter born in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a central figure in the Hudson River School of American landscape painters. While committed to the natural sciences, he was "always concerned with including a spiritual dimension in his works".
The family wealth came from Church's father, Joseph Church, a silversmith and watchmaker in Hartford, Connecticut.(Joseph subsequently also became an official and a director of The Aetna Life Insurance Company) Joseph, in turn, was the son of Samuel Church, who founded the first paper mill in Lee, Massachusetts in the Berkshires, and this allowed him(Frederic) to pursue his interest in art from a very early age. At eighteen years of age, Church became the pupil of Thomas Cole in Catskill, New York after Daniel Wadsworth, a family neighbor and founder of the Wadsworth Atheneum, introduced the two. In May 1848, Church was elected as the youngest Associate of the National Academy of Design and was promoted to Academician the following year. Soon after, he sold his first major work to Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum.
Church settled in New York where he taught his first pupil, William James Stillman. From the spring to autumn each year Church would travel, often by foot, sketching. He returned each winter to paint and to sell his work.
Between 1853 and 1857, Church traveled in South America, financed by businessman Cyrus West Field, who wished to use Church's paintings to lure investors to his South American ventures. Church was inspired by the Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt's Cosmos and his exploration of the continent; Humboldt had challenged artists to portray the "physiognomy" of the Andes.