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 :. | The Battle of Anghiari | Studies for a Nativity | Study of a child | Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist | The Last Supper |
Related Artists:Anton mauve
Dutch Painter, 1838-1888
He came from a large family of clergymen in the province of North Holland. At the age of 16 he was apprenticed to the animal painter Pieter Frederik van Os (1808-92): animals (especially sheep, but also cows and horses) became Mauve's preferred theme. He then trained for a few months with Wouterus Verschuur, who gave him his love of horses, in the style, at least, of Paulus Potter and Philips Wouwerman.Abanindranath Tagore
Indian, 1871-1951,Painter and writer, brother of Gaganendranath Tagore. Intermittently taught by two undistinguished European academicians, Olinto Ghilardy and Charles Palmer, in 1897 he came under the influence of Ernest Binfield Havell (see HAVELL,), art scholar and catalyst of indigenism. Impressed by Mughal and Persian miniatures and the work of the Japanese artists Taikan Yokoyama and Shunso Hishida, who visited India in 1903, Abanindranath discarded Western realism for the stylized naturalism of Japanese art, which suited his poetic temperament, and the general John Ruskin-William Morris thought axis of such early indigenist theorists as Havell and Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy. His work until the Omar Khayyam illustrations (1906-10; Santiniketan, Nandan Mus.), with their revivalist nationalism and fin-de-siecle affectations, greatly influenced the Neo-Bengal art movement formed chiefly by his pupils at the Calcutta Art School, where he was Vice-principal from 1905 to 1915. His own later work developed an imagist focus. The Arabian Nights series (1930; Calcutta, Babindra-Bharati Soc.), his magnum opus, in which literary and visual antecedents give the image a cultural ambience without intruding on its independence, marks the beginning of modern Indian narrative painting. His aesthetic theories, formulated in lectures he gave as the Vageswari Professor of Art at Calcutta University (1921-9), stressed the role of individual sensibility and imagination in creativity. Induced by his uncle Rabindranath,lyonel feininger
Painter, printmaker and illustrator. Although he was sent to Germany as a teenager to study music, a drawing class at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg instead sparked an interest in art, which led to further training at the Akademie der K-nste in Berlin and in 1892-3 at the Acad?mie Colarossi in Paris. Returning to Berlin, he was a prominent illustrator by the mid-1890s for Ulk, Lustige Bl?tter and other leading German satirical magazines. His work also appeared in the USA, first for Harper's Round Table in 1894 and 1895 and in 1906-7 in the comic strips 'The Kin-der-Kids' and 'Wee Willie Winkie's World' for the Chicago Sunday Tribune, by which time he was again in Paris. There he was also in contact with Wilhelm Uhde, Jules Pascin and other members of the circle that met at the Caf- du D?me and produced a series of drawings for Le T-moin. While often alluding to serious contemporary issues, the style of his illustrations and drawings was fanciful rather than grotesque.