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 :. | Aurelio Luini attributed, profile of an old man | Mona Lisa | Study fur the communion | Mona Lisa | Portrait of a Musician dey |
American Golden Age Illustrator, 1882-1945James Stark
(November 19, 1794 - March 24, 1859) was an English landscape painter of the "Norwich School".Stark was born in Norwich, the youngest son of distinguished dyer Michael Stark (1748-1831, Scottish), and showed a talent for art from an early age. He was educated at the Grammar School where he was friends with John Berney Crome. He was then apprenticed for 3 years to John Berney's father, distinguished landscape artist John Crome, from 1811.
In that same years he exhibited work at the Norwich Society of Artists (being elected a member in 1812,) and his work "A view on King Street river, Norwich" was shown by the Royal Academy, London. In 1814 he moved to London, exhibiting at the British Institution between 1814-18, winning a prize of £50 in 1818. In 1817 he entered the Royal Academy as a student, and eventually began to receive commissions for his work.
Ill health forced Stark to return to Norwich after only 2 years study. There he devoted himself to painting the scenery around the city and executed a series of paintings of Norfolk rivers which were eventually engraved and published in 1834. In 1821 he married Elizabeth Younge Dinmore (d. 1834-35).
In 1830, he again settled in London, taking up residence in Chelsea, and exhibited at the British Institution, Royal Academy and Society of British Artists. In 1839, he moved to Windsor, painting many pictures of the scenery of the Thames, but moved back to London in 1849 in order to further his son's education in art.
Stark died at Mornington Place, Camden, London, in March 1859.
Stark's only son, Arthur James Stark (1831-1902), born in Chelsea, London, became a landscapes and animal painter. On a few of his father's pictures he was employed to draw the cattle.
John Augustus Atkinson
English Painter, 1775-ca.1833