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 :. | Studies fur the adoration of the Konige | The Virgin and Child with St Anne | Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) sdg | The Refectory with the Last Supper after restoration g | Last Supper |
Related Artists:GOYEN, Jan van
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1596-1656
Jan van Goyen was born in Leiden on Jan. 13, 1596. Apprenticed from the age of 10, he had several masters. About 1617 he went to Haarlem to study with Esaias van de Velde, an important innovator in the Haarlem movement of realistic landscape painting. Van Goyen's works between 1621 and 1625 are sometimes hard to distinguish from those of his teacher. They are colorful, detailed views of villages and roads, usually busy with people, as in Winter (1621). It was Van Goyen's usual practice to sign or monogram and date his paintings. He traveled extensively through the Netherlands and beyond, recording his impressions in sketchbooks, occasionally with dates and often depicting recognizable scenes. Thus the chronology of his development is clear. His paintings of the late 1620s show a steady advance from the strong colors and scattered organization of his early works toward tonality and greater simplicity and unity of composition. By 1630 he was painting monochromes in golden brown or pale green; he played a leading part in the tonal phase of Dutch landscape painting. In 1631 Van Goyen settled in The Hague, where he became a citizen in 1634. The simplicity, airiness, and unification of his compositions continued to increase in his abundant production of dune landscapes, river views, seascapes, town views, and winter landscapes. The River View (1636) displays a river so open and extensive as to suggest the sea, with reflections that prolong the vast and luminous sky. In its monumentalization of humble structures and its composition built on a firm scaffolding of horizontal and vertical forces, it forecast at this early date developments that dominated landscape painting in the 1650s and later. In the Village and Dunes (1647) the traditional double-diagonal composition still exists, but it is dominated by horizontal and vertical accents. Stronger contrasts of light and dark replace the earlier tonality. In the last year of his life Van Goyen produced an eloquent new style, in which powerful forms stand out against the radiant sky and water in an exquisitely balanced composition (Evening Calm; 1656). The commission in 1651 to paint a panoramic view of The Hague for the Burgomaster's Room shows the high regard in which Van Goyen was held. He was enormously productive; well over 1,000 of his paintings still exist, and almost as many drawings. Yet he died insolvent, perhaps because of losses in his various business ventures, and soon after his death on April 27, 1656, Orsi, Lelio
Italian, approx. 1508-87
.Italian painter and draughtsman. A prominent Emilian artist of the mid-16th century, he was influenced by Correggio as well as by the late Mannerist style of Giulio Romano. His large-scale works seem to have been mainly secular decorations, notably illusionistic fa?ades, of which only fragments are extant. Their energy and expressiveness are apparent, however, in the surviving paintings of smaller dimensions. Orsi's sole documented architectural work is the Collegiata di S Stefano, Novellara Nicolas de Largilliere
Nicolas de Largilliere Gallery
Nicolas de Largilli??re (October 10, 1656 - March 20, 1746), French painter, was born in Paris.
His father, a merchant, took him to Antwerp at the age of three. As a boy, he spent nearly two years in London. Sometime after his return to Antwerp, a failed attempt at business led him to the studio of Goubeau. However, Largilli??re left at the age of eighteen to seek his fortune in England, where he was befriended and employed by Lely, for four years at Windsor.
His skills attracted Charles II, who wished to retain him in his service, but the fury aroused by the Rye House Plot against Roman Catholics alarmed Largilli??re. He left for Paris where he was well received by Le Brun and Van der Meulen. Despite his Flemish training as a portrait-painter, his reputation was soon established. Largilli??re's brilliant colour and lively touch attracted celebrities of his day??actresses, public men and popular preachers flocked to his studio. President Lambert, with his beautiful wife and daughter, were among his most noted subjects.