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 :. | Profile of a child | The Virgin and Child with St Anne | The annunciation | The Madonna of the Carnation (detail) dg | Jacopo Bellini |
Related Artists:Meade, Francis
American, Approx. 1807-1870Jean-Antoine Watteau
Antoine Watteau Art Locations
He is best known for his invention of a new genre, the fete galante, a small easel painting in which elegant people are depicted in conversation or music-making in a secluded parkland setting (see under FETE CHAMPETRE). His particular originality lies in the generally restrained nature of the amorous exchanges of his characters, which are conveyed as much by glance as by gesture, and in his mingling of figures in contemporary dress with others in theatrical costume, thus blurring references to both time and place.
Watteau work was widely collected during his lifetime and influenced a number of other painters in the decades following his death, especially in France and England. His drawings were particularly admired. Documented facts about Watteau life are notoriously few, though several friends wrote about him after his death (see Champion). Of over two hundred paintings generally accepted as his work Paul-Camille Guigou
Paul Camille Guigou Gallery
French painter. Born into a family of landowners, he became a notary's clerk at Apt in 1851 and then in 1854 at Marseille. He learnt to paint with Camp, a teacher at the school in Apt, and then at Marseille with Emile Loubon (1809-63), director of the local Ecole des Beaux-Arts, who urged him (according to Guigou's biographers) to paint directly from nature. Guigou settled in Marseille in 1854, where he participated regularly in the annual Salon of the Societe Artistique des Bouches-du-Rhene. Guigou painted almost exclusively Proven?al landscapes, which were influenced by the works of the Barbizon painters, who exhibited in Marseille, and by the brownish tones and picturesque figures of Loubon's paintings. The Road to Gineste (1859) and The Washerwoman (1860; both Paris, Mus. d'Orsay) reflect the independent tradition of Proveneal painting during the Second Empire, which was characterized by warm colouring and precise lighting used to separate and distinguish forms. His knowledge of the works of Gustave Courbet, acquired during a visit to Paris in 1859, doubtless increased his liking for broad technique and sincere vision, articulated in a strong and ordered construction of space: for example, The Gorges of the Luberon (c. 1861; Amiens, Mus. Picardie).