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 :. | Profile of a child | Madonna Litta (detail sdg | Study fur the communion | Study of the proportion of the head | The Annunciation |
Related Artists:Master Francke
German painter (early 15th century, active in Hamburg). respectively German for "Master Francke" and Latin for "Brother Francke", was a North German Gothic painter and Dominican friar, born ca. 1380 in the Lower Rhine region or possibly Zutphen in the Netherlands, who died ca. 1440, probably in Hamburg, where he was based at the end of his known career. He is called "Fratre Francone Zutphanico" ("Brother Frank of Zutphen") in one document. He may have trained as an illuminator and painter in France or the Netherlands, and later worked in Munster, before joining in St John's Friary in Hamburg by 1424 at the latest.
Two main altarpieces attributed to him survive, dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury and Saint Barbara, in an unusually intense style, showing awareness of French and Early Netherlandish court art. He probably arrived in Hamburg after the death in 1415 of the previous leading artist there, Master Bertram, and shows little or no influence from him, but he may have been influenced by the more courtly style of Conrad von Soest, about ten years older than Francke, who worked to the south in Westphalia.
The Hamburg association of traders to England commissioned an altarpiece from "Mester Francke[nn]" in 1424; the contract does not survive, but is mentioned in their memorial book. This is probably the "St Thomas (of Canterbury) Altarpiece", completed in 1436, of which parts survive in the Kunsthalle, Hamburg. The rather earlier St Barbara Altarpiece may have been commissioned for Finland, where it surfaced a century ago. The "Thomas Altar" has eight surviving scenes, but is missing its main panel and several others. The "Barbara Altar" has also eight scenes, on both sides of the wings to a carved wood central panel by another artist. At least two other panels are in museum collections. Francke was almost entirely forgotten after the Renaissance until the end of the 19th century when, like Master Bertram, he was rediscovered and published by Alfred Lichtwart, Director of the Hamburg Kunsthalle
Russian Rococo Era Painter , 1727/1729-1802
Russian painter and teacher. He came from a family of serfs, belonging to the Counts Sheremetev, that produced several painters and architects. In about 1746-7 he was a pupil of Georg Christoph Grooth (1716-49), who painted portraits of the Sheremetev family. With Grooth, Argunov worked on the decoration of the court church at Tsarskoye Selo (now Pushkin). A full-length icon of St John of Damascus (1749; Pushkin, Pal.-Mus.), in Rococo style, is distinguished by its secular, decorative character. The Dying Cleopatra (1750; Moscow, Tret'yakov Gal.) is typical of Rococo decorative painting of the mid-18th century, with its striking combination of light, soft tones. Argunov subsequently painted in a quite different style, mainly producing portraits, of which about 60 are known. Among the first of these are pendant portraits of Ivan Lobanov-Rostovsky and his wife (1750 and 1754; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.), in which the sitters are idealized, as in ceremonial court portraits. William Lees Judson
William Lees Judson was born in 1842 in Manchester, England, and moved to the United States with his parents when he was ten years old. After serving four years with the Illinois volunteers during the American Civil War, Judson studied art in New York and Paris. He settled in London, Ontario, where he became a successful portrait painter and art teacher. He moved to Chicago in 1890 but, suffering from failing health, he moved to Los Angeles in 1893. He settled on the banks of the Arroyo Seco in the Garvanza section of Los Angeles. A 1937 radio program noted that it was ??love at first sight?? when Judson saw the Arroyo Seco, and the area became his home for the rest of his life. Soon after his arrival, Judson was at the forefront of the Arroyo Guild of Craftsmen, an influential group of artists, sculptors and architects who fueled Southern California??s Arts and Crafts Movement. The beauty of the area stirred Judson to switch from portrait painting to landscapes, and his work attracted such favorable attention that in 1896 he was offered a professorship in drawing and painting at the University of Southern California. In the late 1890s, he founded the Los Angeles College of Fine Arts at his home in Garvanza (the present location of Judson Studios). In 1901, Judson's art college became USC??s College of Fine Arts, with Judson serving as dean from 1901 until his retirement in 1922. He died at his home in the studio building in October 1928.