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 :. | Portrait | The Virgin and the Nino with Holy Ana | Virgin of the Rocks | Madonna of the Yarnwinder | St John in the Wilderness |
Related Artists:Francesco Morandini Da Poppi
Italian Painter (1544-1597) Neyts, Gilles
Flemish, 1623-87Robert Alexander Hillingford
(1825-1904) was an English painter. He specialized in historical pictures, often battle scenes.
He was born in London on January 28, 1828, and studied in Desseldorf in 1841 for five years and before traveling to Munich, Rome, Florence and Naples, where he married and worked for several years, producing paintings of Italian life. One painting from this period entitled The Last Evening of the Carnival was exhibited at St. Petersburg in 1859. He returned to London in 1864, and first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1866; it was at this time that he began to work on historical subjects, especially of the Napoleonic Wars. He was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy, British Institution and at other galleries. While he was attracted to costume pieces such as An incident in the early life of Louis XIV and During the wanderings of Charles Edward Stuart', he also included some contemporary military scenes including his 1901 RA painting South Africa, 1901 - The Dawn of Peace.
Wellington at Waterloo
Lord Hill invites the last remnants of the French Imperial Guard to surrenderThe original paintings often come up at auction, and, with a large amount of the collection dispersed in 1998, the original paintings are widely scattered.