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 :. | Study fur the Sforza-Reiterstandbild | Woman portrait | La Vierge,l'Enfant Jesus et sainte Anne | Annunciation | Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist (mk08) |
Related Artists:Panfilo Nuvolone
(1581-1651) was an Italian painter of the Mannerist period, who painted both religious and still life topics, active in Cremona and Mantua.
Born to a Mantuan gentleman, he was the father of a family of Cremonese painters. In that town, he apprenticed with Giovanni Battista Trotti (known as il Malosso). Afterwards he moved to Milan, where frescoe church ceilings, and painted altarpieces and still lifes.
One of his few documented still lifes depict a bowl of peaches, and recalls the near-contemporary paintings of fruit bowls in Milan, including the 1594-98 painting in the Ambrosiana by Caravaggio and similarly themed paintings by Fede Galizia. His son, Carlo Francesco Nuvolone, also a prominent in painter in Lombardy. Panfilo's younger son Giuseppe Nuvolone also a painter. Giuseppe's son Carlo was a mediocre quadratura specialist active mainly around Cremona.Francis Holman
(1729-1784) was a British maritime painter, little recognised during his own lifetime, but whose paintings are now sought aftereHe is also notable as the teacher of Thomas Luny.
He was born in Ramsgate and baptized on 14 November 1729 at St Laurence-in-Thanet, Ramsgate. He was the eldest son and second of six children of Francis Holman (1696-1739), and his wife, Anne Long (1707-1757). His father was a master mariner, and his grandfather a Ramsgate cooper. His younger brother, Captain John Holman (1733-1816), maintained the family shipping business and remained close to Francis throughout his life. Young Francis would certainly have been immersed in the maritime world during his up-bringing; the legacy of this early knowledge is a wealth of detail and accuracy in his later work.
The moonlight Battle of Cape St Vincent, 16 January 1780 by Francis Holman, painted 1780
A sixth-rate British man of war off Dover, by Francis Holman, 1777
A small shipyard on the Thames, by Francis Holman, between 1760 and 1784Francis Holman lived in at least five addresses in Wapping on the Thames in London. He married, firstly, Elizabeth, and they produced 3 sons; John (b. 1757), and two more sons, both named Francis, who died in infancy. Elizabeth's death is unrecorded, but on 7 May 1781 he married, secondly, Jane Maxted (c.1736-1790). He was apparently childless when he wrote his will in 1783.
Pierre etienne theodore rousseau
Paris 1812-Barbizon 1867
French painter of the Barbizon school, was born in Paris, of a bourgeois family which included one or two artists.At first he received a business training, but soon displayed aptitude for painting. Although his father regretted the decision at first, he became reconciled to his son leaving business, and throughout the artist's career (for he survived his son) was a sympathizer with him in all his conflicts with the Paris Salon authorities. Theodore Rousseau shared the difficulties of the romantic painters of 1830 in securing for their pictures a place in the annual Paris exhibition. The whole influence of the classically trained artists was against them, and not until 1848 was Rousseau adequately presented to the public. He had exhibited one or two unimportant works in the Salon of 1831 and 1834, but in 1836 his great work "La descente des vaches" was rejected by the vote of the classic painters; and from then until after the revolution of 1848 he was persistently refused. He was not without champions in the press, and under the title of "le grand refus" he became known through the writings of Thor, the critic who afterwards resided in England and wrote under the name of Burger. During these years of artistic exile Rousseau produced some of his finest pictures: "The Chestnut Avenue", "The Marsh in the Landes" (now in the Louvre), "Hoar-Frost" (now in America); and in 1851, after the reorganization of the Salon in 1848, he exhibited his masterpiece, "The Edge of the Forest" (also in the Louvre), a picture similar in treatment to, but slightly varied in subject from, the composition called "A Glade in the Forest of Fontainebleau", in the Wallace Collection at Hertford House, London. Up to this period Rousseau had lived only occasionally at Barbizon, but in 1848 he took up his residence in the forest village, and spent most of his remaining days in the vicinity. He was now at the height of his artistic power, and was able to obtain fair sums for his pictures (but only about one-tenth of their value thirty years after his death), and his circle of admirers increased. He was still ignored by the authorities, for while Narcisse Virgilio Diaz was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1851, Rousseau was left undecorated at this time, but was nominated shortly afterwards. At the Exposition Universelle of 1853, where all Rousseau's rejected pictures of the previous twenty years were gathered together, his works were acknowledged to form one of the finest of the many splendid groups there exhibited. But during his lifetime Rousseau never really conquered French taste, and after an unsuccessful sale of his works by auction in 1861,