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 :. | Madonna with the Yarnwinder | The embryo in the Uterus | Hi Hieronymus | The Annunciation | Knieened figure in Draperie |
Related Artists:Jean Portaels
Vilvorde, 1818 - Schaerbeek, 1895
was a Belgian orientalist painter and director of the Academy of Brussels. His father, a rich brewer, sent him to study at the Brussels Academy, whose Director, François Navez, took him on soon after in his own workshop. About 1841 Portaels went to Paris, where he was well received by Paul Delaroche. After his return to Belgium, he won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1842. He then travelled through Italy, Greece, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, the Lebanon, Judaea, Spain, Hungary and Norway. On his return to Belgium in 1847 Portaels succeeded H. Vanderhaert as Director of the Academy in Ghent. In 1849 he married the daughter of his first teacher, Navez, and in 1850 he settled in Brussels; but when he did not get the post of Director of the Brussels academy, and wished, nevertheless, to carry on teaching as his father-in-law had done, he opened a private studio-school, which became one of great significance in the development of Belgian art. Once more he went on his travels, spending time in Morocco; he returned to Brussels in 1874, and in 1878 became Director of the Academy which had so long been the object of his ambition. Portaels was an extremely prolific artist. Huge oil paintings adorning the walls of St Jacques-sur-Caudenberg; biblical scenes, such as The Daughter of Sion Reviled, The Death of Judas, The Magi travelling to Bethlehem, Judiths Prayer, and The Drought in Judaea; genre pictures, such as A Box in the Theatre at Budapest , portraits of officials and of high society, Oriental scenes and, above all, pictures of exotic female figures and exotic life. "His work is usually marked by an easy grace, which he perhaps uses to excess", wrote Theophile Gautier. But his pleasing and abundant productions as a painter do not constitute Portaels' crowning merit. Morgenstern, Christian
German painter. After training from 1824 with Siegfried Bendixen (1786-1864) in Hamburg, he studied at the Kunstakademi in Copenhagen in 1827 and made sketching trips to Sweden and Norway. He then settled permanently in Munich. He was influenced in particular by 17th-century Dutch painters, notably Jacob van Ruisdael, the Copenhagen plein-air painters, the emerging Norwegian landscape school and the early Realist painters working in Munich, such as Johann Georg von Dillis. Morgenstern explored objective, pure landscape painting with intimate motifs in such works as Beech-tree Trunks in Fredericksdal near Copenhagen (1828; Hamburg, Ksthalle). He also painted scenes combining closely rendered foreground details with extensive, Cornelis van Poelenburch
(1594 - 12 August 1667) was a Dutch Golden Age landscape painter.
Though his birthplace is unknown, a signed document survives in Utrecht where he is listed as six years old and the son of Simon van Poelenburch, a Catholic canon in Utrecht.He initially trained with Abraham Bloemaert, and his earliest signed paintings are from 1620.He traveled to Rome where he was influenced by Adam Elsheimer and became a founding member of the Bentvueghels. He counted a few cardinals under his patrons, and was called to England by Charles I of England, for whom he made small cabinet pieces. He returned to Utrecht where he later died just a few years after his old teacher Abraham Bloemaert.He painted mostly small landcapes with mythical or religious figures or passages, in a style that would later be evident in some of the works of Claude Lorraine.
His "most important and successful" pupils were Daniël Vertangen, Dirck van der Lisse, François Verwilt, and Jan van Haensbergen. Arnold Houbraken claimed that his best pupil was Joan vander Lis from Breda (not Dirk vander Lis from The Hague). Houbraken then mentioned Vertangen, Verwilt, Warnard van Rysen from Bommel, and Willem van Steenree, a nephew. The RKD also mentions Laurens Barata.