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 :. | Annunciation (detail) ey79 | The Annunciation | Studies of horses | Study fur the Trivulzio-monument | Female head (La Scapigliata) wt |
Related Artists:Juan de Juanes
Juan de Juanes Gallery
Born in Bocairent and was considered the premier painter of the Valencian school of painters, and often called "the Spanish Raphael", was born at La Font de la Figuera in the province of Valencia. He is said to have studied his art for some time in Rome, with which school his affinities are closest, but he greater part of his professional life was spent in the city of Valencia, where most of the extant examples of his work are now to be found. All relate to religious subjects, and are characterized by dignity of conception, accuracy of drawing, ruth and beauty of color, and minuteness of finish. He died at Bocairent (near X??tiva) while engaged upon an altarpiece in the church there.
Since his name Macip made him sound like a laborer (macero), he adopted the name of Juanes or de Juan, and the heraldy of that family of nobility. He painted a Raphaelesqe Holy Family for the sacristy in the Cathedral of Valencia. He never painted a profane subject, and emulated Luis de Cargas and Fra Angelico de Fiesole, in never painting unless he had underwent holy communion. Painting for him was a solemn exercise, an oratory process, full of prayers and fasts. He never lacked church patronage; the archbishop of Valencia, St. Thomas of Villanova, ordered a set of cartoon panels about the Life of the Virgin to model for some tapestries. He also painted for the churches of the Jesuits, Domicans, Minims, Augustinians, Franciscans, and for the churches of San Nicol??s , Santa Cruz , Carmen Calzado, St Esteban, Corona, Temple, San Andr??s, San Bartolom?? and San Miguel de los Reyes. Among his best works is the Immaculate Conception painted for the Jesuit church, supposedly inspired by a revelation undergone by the painter's confessor, Father Martin Alberto, confesor del pintor. Macip also painted portraits. His son, Juan Vicente Joanes, imitated his style. His two daughters, Dorotea and Margarita were also painters. Him most prominent pupil was Nicolas Borras.