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 :. | Mona Lisa (detail) dhu | virgin and child with st.anne | Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci sg | Study of the proportion of the head | Annunciation (detail) st |
Related Artists:Charles-Francois de la Croix
Jean Etienne Liotard Gallery
He began his studies under Professor Gardelle and Petitot, whose enamels and miniatures he copied with considerable skill. He went to Paris in 1725, studying under J. B. Masse and François Lemoyne, on whose recommendation he was taken to Naples by the Marquis Puysieux. In 1735 he was in Rome, painting the portraits of Pope Clement XII and several cardinals. Three years later he accompanied Lord Duncannon to Constantinople. His eccentric adoption of oriental costume secured him the nickname of the Turkish painter. He went to Vienna in 1742 to paint the portraits of the imperial family. Still under distinguished patronage he returned to Paris. In 1744 he visited England, where he painted the princess of Wales in 1753, and went to Holland in 1756, where, in the following year, he married Marie Fargues. She also came from a Hugenot family, and wanted him to shave off his beard. Another visit to England followed in 1772, and in the next two years his name figures among the Royal Academy exhibitors. He returned to his native town in 1776. In 1781 Liotard published his Trait?? des principes et des r??gles de la peinture. In his last days he painted still lifes and landscapes. He died at Geneva in 1789.
Liotard was an artist of great versatility, and though his fame depends largely on his graceful and delicate pastel drawings, of which La Liseuse, The Chocolate Girl, and La Belle Lyonnaise at the Dresden Gallery are delightful examples, he achieved distinction by his enamels, copperplate engravings and glass painting. He also wrote a Treatise on the Art of Painting, and was an expert collector of paintings by the old masters. Many of the masterpieces he had acquired were sold by him at high prices on his second visit to England. The museums of Amsterdam, Berne, and Geneva are particularly rich in examples of his paintings and pastel drawings. A picture of a Turk seated is at the Victoria and Albert Museum, while the British Museum owns two of his drawings. The Louvre has, besides twenty-two drawings, a portrait of Lieutenant General Hrault and a portrait of the artist is to be found at the Sala di pittori, in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. While his son also married a Dutch girl, the Rijksmuseum inherited an important collection of his drawings and paintings.Raja Ravi Varma
1848-1906, Indian painter. He was the most important and one of the earliest Indian artists of the 19th century to work in oil paints. The subjects of his paintings were often mythological, but they were produced in a European historicist style. He absorbed the influence of such French 19th-century academic painters as William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Gustave Boulanger and of Indian contemporary popular theatre, specializing in the type of mythological paintings that found favour with Indian rajas and British administrators. His successful exploitation (from 1894) of the lithographic reproduction of his paintings ensured, for the first time in India, that the work of an individual artist could reach a mass market.