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 carnation | the last supper | Female head (La Scapigliata) wt | Annunciation (detail) fg47 | virgin and child with st.anne |
Related Artists:Jan Brueghel The Elder
Flemish Baroque Era Painter, 1568-1625
was a Flemish painter, son of Pieter Brueghel the Elder and father of Jan Brueghel the Younger. Nicknamed "Velvet" Brueghel, "Flower" Brueghel, and "Paradise" Brueghel, of which the latter two were derived from favored subjects, while the former may refer to the velveteen sheen of his colors or to his habit of wearing velvet. He was born in Brussels. His father died in 1569, and then, following the death of his mother in 1578, Jan, along with his brother Pieter Brueghel the Younger ("Hell Brueghel") and sister Marie, went to live with their grandmother Mayken Verhulst (widow of Pieter Coecke van Aelst). She was an artist in her own right, and according to Carel van Mander, possibly the first teacher of the two sons. The family moved to Antwerp sometime after 1578. He first applied himself to painting flowers and fruits, and afterwards acquired considerable reputation by his landscapes and sea-pieces. He formed a style more independent of his father's than did his brother Pieter the Younger. His early works are often landscapes containing scenes from scripture, particularly forest landscapes betraying the influence of the master forest landscape-painter Gillis van Coninxloo. Later in his career, he moved toward the painting of pure landscapes and townscapes, and, toward the end, of still lifes. After residing long at Cologne he travelled into Italy, where his landscapes, adorned with small figures, were greatly admired. He left a large number of pictures, chiefly landscapes, which are executed with great skill. Many of his paintings are collaborations in which figures by other painters were placed in landscapes painted by Jan Brueghel.CANAL, Bernardo
Italian painter, Venetian school (b. 1664, Venezia, d. 1744, Venezia)Pablo de Cespedes
(1538 - July 26, 1608) was a Spanish painter, poet, and architect.
His father, Alonso Cespedes, was descended of a noble Castilian family, once settled at Ocaña, and the name of his mother, who was a native of Alcolea de Torote, was Olaya de Arroya. Pablo was born and brought up in the house of his father's maternal uncle, Francisco Lopez de Aponte, Canon of Cordoba, where he received a learned education. At the age of eighteen, in 1556, he was sent to the Universidad Complutense in Alcale de Henares, and there, devoted himself to the acquirement of Oriental languages and theology. He later moved to Rome where he studied painting under Federico Zuccari.
He was in Rome in February 1559, engaged in conducting certain negotiations for the Archbishop Carranza de Miranda, of Toledo, who then stood charged with heresy before the Inquisition of Valladolid. On the 17th of that month he addressed a letter to the prelate, informing him how his business stood at the Vatican, in which he incautiously reflected on the conduct of the Inquisitor-General Valdez, and the Holy Officeean offence which no Inquisitor-General would forgive. This document and others were seized with the primate's papers; he was therefore denounced by the tribunal, and but for his fortunate absence, would have been imprisoned. It is probable that he did not venture back into Spain for many years, until he had covered his sins with the protecting robes of the Church.
He remained in Italy for over 20 years and built a reputation as an artist. His only surviving works from that period are the frescoes he painted in the Bonfili chapel at the Santa Trinite dei Monti church in Rome.
He returned to Spain in 1577, and was appointed as the canon of the Cerdoba cathedral. He continued to write books on antiquarian topics such as the architecture of the temple of Solomon. He befriended Arias Montano. In 1604 he composed his Discourse of Ancient and Modern Painting and Sculpture in which he recounts anecdotes of Renaissance masters of Italy.