Leonardo Da Vinci
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 :. | Detail of Madonna of the Rocks | Portrait of Ginerva de'Benci | Leda | Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist | Cartoon |
Related Artists:Alden J Weir
Painter, printmaker and teacher, son of (1) Robert Walter Weir. His art education began in the studio of his father. There he and his half-brother (2) John Ferguson Weir acquired an appreciation for the Old Masters, particularly of the Italian Renaissance and of the 17th-century Dutch schools. While Weir pursued in his art a course very different from that of his father and half-brother, his personality as well as his artistic attitudes were shaped by them. In the winters of 1870-71 and 1871-2, he continued his studies at the National Academy of Design in New York, where his instructor was Lemuel Wilmarth (1835-1918).
Johan Laurentz Jensen
(8 March 1800, Gentofte - 26 March 1856, Copenhagen) was a Danish artist who specialized in flower painting.
In parallel with his studies at the Danish Academy, he became a pupil of Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg and also of Cladius Detlev Fritzsch. Specializing in flower painting, Jensen continued his education in Paris under the Flemish flower painting brothers, Gerard and Cornelis van Spaendonck, and at the porcelain factory in Sevres where he learnt the art of miniature flower painting. Taking 17th-century Dutch flower painting as a starting point, he revived the art in Denmark. His floral arrangements often had both a decorative and symbolic value. Danish plants were often accompanied by exotic flowers and fruits, sometimes even birds. He also became head artist at the Danish Procelain Factory. Jensen had an extensive circle of customers and many students, especially women, including Louise of Hesse-Kassel who later married King Christian IX. Since the 1980s, his works have gained wide international recognition. Many are exhibited in Statens Museum for Kunst and in Thorvaldsens Museum.Jeronymus van Diest
(1631, The Hague - ca.1687, The Hague), was a Dutch Golden Age seascape painter.
According to Houbraken, a Jeronymus van Diest was good with grisailles and was the teacher of Adriaen van de Venne. This grisaille painter Jeronymus Diest (I) may possibly have been a grandfather of the younger Jeronymus Diest (II); since they are both from the Hague.
According to the RKD this younger Jeronymus Diest (II) was the son of the painter Willem van Diest and the father of the painter Adriaen van Diest who was a follower of Jan van Goyen and Hendrik Dubbels.His known works are all seascapes with various ships at sail.