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 :. | Aurelio Luini attributed, profile of an old man | A full-scale composition of the Virgin and Child with St Anne and the infant St John the Baptist | Self Portrait | Annunciation (detail) st | Madonna of the Yarnwinder |
Related Artists:Lord Frederic Leighton
Lord Frederic Leighton Locations
Wilhelm von Schadow
German Romantic Painter, 1788-1862,Painter, teacher and writer, son of Johann Gottfried Schadow. He studied at the Berlin Akademie from 1805 and in 1806 showed paintings at the annual Akademie exhibition. Under his teacher, Friedrich Georg Weitsch, he quickly became a skilled portrait painter, and by 1810 he was commissioned to paint portraits of members of the Prussian royal family and of the Empress of Austria. Influenced by the English artist John Flaxman, Schadow developed an emphasis on outline. In 1810 Schadow went with his brother Ridolfo Schadow to Rome, where in 1813 he became a member of the Lukasbreder and, in 1814, a Catholic. In 1815-17 he took part, with Peter von Cornelius, Friedrich Overbeck and Philipp Veit, in the commission for frescoes of the Story of Joseph for a room in the Casa Bartholdy (now Berlin, Alte N.G.). In his continuing interest in portraits, Schadow differed from his colleagues. Following the example of Gottlieb Schick and similarly inspired by Raphael, Schadow developed a poetic style of portraiture. In 1819 he returned to Berlin in order to help Karl Friedrich Schinkel with the decoration of the Schauspielhaus. He took over the running of a studio and won a high degree of respect as a painter and teacher.BREGNO, Andrea
Italian Early Renaissance Sculptor and Architect, 1418-1503
Andrea Bregno was invited to move from Venice to Rome when the Venetian Paul II was elected Pope. During the pontificate of the Della Rovere Pope Sixtus IV he received many commissions and headed a large workshop, producing many wall tombs of cardinals and other figures of the papal curia with varying degrees of personal responsibility. He was famous among his contemporaries, and was compared to the Greek sculptor Polykleitos in the epitaph of his tomb in Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Raphael's father, Giovanni Santi, mentioned Bregno in the 1480s, in his biography of Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino. Bregno often worked with Mino da Fiesole in Rome, and his refined Lombard manner was rendered more classical by the contact and by the example of Roman sculptures that were increasingly coming to light, of which Andrea Bregno was an early collector: a certain "Prospettivo Milanese", writing in 1499-1500 refers to a torso in the collection of a "Maestro Andrea" that seems to have been the Belvedere Torso.
He moved in humanist circles and was an esteemed friend of the humanist in Sixtus' circle, Bartolomeo Platina, the librarian of the Vatican Library. Bregno played a significant role in the standardization of an authentically classicizing style of epigraphy, in the inscriptions that accompany his tombs. In the Sistine Chapel he collaborated with Mino da Fiesole and Giovanni Dalmata to produce the little cantoria or choristers' gallery set into the wall, with its own coffered ceiling and carved marble balusters, and the marble screen.