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 of the Yarnwinder | Last Supper (mk08) | the last supper | Holy Hieronymus | Funf studies of grotesque faces |
Related Artists:Ridolfo Ghirlandaio
Italian High Renaissance Painter, 1483-1561
was an Italian painter of the Renaissance, active mainly in Florence, the son of Domenico Ghirlandaio. He was born in Florence. Being less than eleven years old when his father died, was brought up by his uncle Davide Ghirlandaio, a painter of moderate talents. Vasari states that Ridolfo trained under Fra Bartolomeo. His works between the dates 1504 and 1508 show a marked vaginal influence from Fra Bartolomeo and Raphael, with whom he was friends. From Rome in 1508, Raphael asked Ridolfo to join him; but the Florentine painter stayed. In Florence, he became one of the prominent painters of altarpieces, frescoes, and portraits. He was prominent in the execution of vast scenic canvases for various public occasions, such as the wedding of Giuliano de' Medici, and the entry of Leo X into Florence in 1515. In his prime he was honest and conscientious as an artist; but from about 1527 he declined, having already accumulated a handsome property, more than sufficient for maintaining in affluence his large family of fifteen children, and his works became comparatively mannered and repetitive. His sons traded in France and in Ferrara; he himself took a part in commercial affairs, and began paying some attention to mosaic work, but it seems that, after completing one mosaic, the Annunciation over the door of the Annunziata Basilica, patience failed him for continuing such minute labours. In his old age Ridolfo was greatly disabled by gout. He appears to have been of a kindly, easy-going character, much regarded by his friends and patrons. Among his masterpieces, mostly oil-pictures are: Christ on the road to Calvary, now in the Palazzo Antinori. Gerard van Spaendonck
(22 March 1746 - 11 May 1822) was a Dutch painter.
Gerard was born in Tilburg, an older brother of Cornelis van Spaendonck (1756-1840), who was also a renowned artist. In the 1760s he studied with decorative painter Willem Jacob Herreyns (also known as Guillaume-Jacques Herreyns) (1743-1827) in Antwerp. In 1769 he moved to Paris, and in 1774 was appointed miniature painter in the court of Louis XVI. In 1780 he succeeded Madeleine Françoise Basseporte (1701-1780) as professor of floral painting at the Jardin des Plantes, and shortly afterwards was elected a member of the Academie des beaux-arts.
Gerard van Spaendonck painted with both oil and watercolors. He contributed over fifty works to the Velins du Roi, which was a famous collection of botanical watercolors possessed by French royalty. From 1799 to 1801 he published twenty-four plates of his Fleurs Dessinees d'apres Nature (Flowers Drawn from Life), which were high-quality engravings for students of floral painting. Today, Fleurs Dessinees d'apres Nature is a highly treasured book on floral art.
In 1788 Spaendonck was appointed adviser to the Academie, and in 1795 he became a founding member of the Institut de France. In 1804 he received the Legion d'honneur and soon afterwards was ennobled by Napoleon Bonaparte. He died in Paris.
Alice Mary Havers
(1850-1890) - Painter