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 :. | Hl. Anna, Maria, Christuskind mit Lamm | Muscle structure of the thigh | Madonna in the rock grottos(Details | The Annunciation | The Verkundigung |
Related Artists:Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale,RWS
English illustrator, painter and designer. She entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, and won a prize for a mural design in 1897. She specialized in book illustration, in pen and ink and later in colour. Among her many commissions were illustrations to Tennyson's Poems (1905) and Idylls of the King (1911) and Browning's Pippa Passes (1908). She was particularly popular with the publishers of the lavishly illustrated gift-books fashionable in the Edwardian era. She exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and the Royal Water-Colour Society. She took up stained-glass design (windows in Bristol Cathedral), which modified her style of illustration to flat areas of colour within black outlines. Marie-Guillemine Benoist
was a French neoclassical, historical and genre painter. She was born in Paris, the daughter of a civil servant. Her training as an artist began in 1781 under Élisabeth Vigee Le Brun, and she entered Jacques-Louis David's atelier in 1786 along with her sister Marie-Élisabeth Laville-Leroux. The poet Charles-Albert Demoustier, who met her in 1784, was inspired by her in creating the character Émile in his work Lettres Émilie sur la mythologie (1801). In 1791 she exhibited for the first time in the Salon de Paris, displaying her mythology-inspired picture Psych faisant ses adieux sa famille. Another of her paintings of this period, L'Innocence entre la vertu et le vice, is similarly mythological and reveals her feminist interests in this picture, vice is represented by a man, although it was traditionally represented by a woman. In 1793, she married the lawyer Pierre-Vincent Benoist. Her work, reflecting the influence of Jacques-Louis David, tended increasingly toward history painting by 1795. In 1800, she exhibited Portrait d'une negresse in the Salon. Six years previously, slavery had been abolished, and this image became a symbol for women's emancipation and black people's rights. This picture was acquired by Louis XVIII for France in 1818. An important commission, for a full-length portrait of Napol on Bonaparte Premier Consul Français in this period was awarded to her in 1803. This portrait was to be sent to the city of Ghent, newly ceded to France by the Treaty of Luneville in 1801. Other honors came to her; she was awarded a Gold Medal in the Salon of 1804, and received a governmental allowance. During this time she opened an atelier for the artistic training of women. Her career was harmed by political developments, however, when her husband, the convinced royalist count Benoist, was nominated in the Conseil d'État during the post-1814 monarchy come-back called the Bourbon Restoration. William Henry Furness
(1802-1896) was an American clergyman, theologian, reformer and abolitionist. Following the American Civil War, he raised funds for Black schools in the South, including Morehouse College.
A graduate of the Theological Department of Harvard University, Furness became the Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia at the age of 22. A close friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Furness presided over a period marked by the growth and increasing prosperity for First Church. A fiery abolitionist, Furness was a supporter of the rights of all segments of society, including African-Americans and Jews. He also lived to see the construction of the current church building in 1885 in the role of Minister Emeritus.
Rev. Furness was the father of painter William Furness, Shakespearean scholar Horace Howard Furness, architect Frank Furness, and author and translator Annis Furness Lee.