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 | Profiles of a young and an old man | The Last Supper | The Virgin and Child with St Anne | The Benois Madonna |
Related Artists:Nicolae Grigorescu
Romanian Painter, 1838-1907
From 1848 he trained in Bucharest with various church painters, producing icons and religious mural decorations. These works, which soon attracted attention, were influenced in style by the Viennese classicism widespread in the Romanian principalities in the early 19th century and by the Italian academicism established there after 1850 by Gheorghe Tattarescu. The earliest of his known paintings are in the church of SS Constantin and Elena at Baicoi, where his signature can be seen beside that of Nita Pereescu on the icon of St George (1853). He subsequently painted a series of icons (1854-5) at Caldarusani Monastery. In the later ensembles he was assisted by his older brother Georghe Grigorescu, who participated under his direction in the decoration of churches, such as those of the Zamfira (1856-8) and Agapia (1858-60) monasteries. In Nicolae's paintings at Agapia, classicism in Romanian art reached its highest point. The royal icons are distinguished for the elegance of the figures, both in their attitudes and in their drapery. Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Franz Xaver Winterhalter Galleries
German painter and lithographer. He trained as a draughtsman and lithographer in the workshop of Karl Ludwig Scheler (1785-1852) in Freiburg im Breisgau and went to Munich in 1823, sponsored by the industrialist Baron Eichtal. In 1825 he began a course of study at the Akademie and was granted a stipend by Ludwig I, Grand Duke of Baden. The theoretical approach to art of the Akademie under the direction of Peter Cornelius was unfamiliar to him, as in Freiburg he had been required to paint in a popular style. He found the stimulus for his future development in the studio of Joseph Stieler, a portrait painter who was much in demand and who derived inspiration from French painting. Winterhalter became his collaborator in 1825. From Stieler he learnt to make the heads of figures emerge from shadow and to use light in the modelling of faces. He moved to Karlsruhe in 1830 with his brother Hermann Winterhalter (1808-92), who had also trained with Scheler and had followed him to Munich.Andreas Achenbach
(September 29, 1815 - April 1, 1910) was a German landscape painter.
Born at Kassel, he began his art education in 1827 in Desseldorf under Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow at the Desseldorf Academy of Painting. He studied at St Petersburg and travelled in Italy, Holland and Scandinavia.In his early work he followed the pseudo-idealism of the German romantic school, but on removing to Munich in 1835, the stronger influence of Louis Gurlitt turned his talent into new channels, and he became the founder of the German realistic school. Although his landscapes evince too much of his aim at picture-making and lack personal temperament, he is a master of technique, and is historically important as a reformer. The Chambers Biographical Dictionary says of him that "he was regarded as the father of 19th century German landscape painting."
A number of his finest works are to be found at the Berlin National Gallery, the New Pinakothek in Munich, and the galleries at Dresden, Darmstadt, Cologne, Desseldorf, Leipzig and Hamburg.
He died in Desseldorf.
His brother, Oswald Achenbach (1827-1905), was also a painter.