Leonardo Da Vinci
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 :. | The Baptism of Christ | Adoration of the Magi | Saint John the Baptist | The Virgin of the Rocks | Leda |
Related Artists:JOUVENET, Jean-Baptiste
French painter (b. 1644, Rouen, d. 1717, Paris).
French painter, one of a family of painters. He worked in Paris in the studio of Charles Le Brun, whose manner he acquired and whose favor at court he shared. He is best known for his religious paintings; the most important are the series of four canvases for St. Martin des Champs, including the Miraculous Draught of Fishes Jean Henri De Coene
Jean Henri De Coene, a Belgian painter of genre and historical subjects, was born at Nederbrakel in 1798.Salomon de Bray
(Amsterdam, 1597 - Haarlem, 11 May 1664) was a Dutch Golden Age architect and painter.
De Bray established himself in Haarlem before 1617, where he is registered as being a member of the schutterij that year in the St. Adrian's cloveniers. He probably followed draftsmanship and painting lessons in the small academy started by Karel van Mander, Hendrick Goltzius and Cornelis van Haarlem, and where he married in 1625. He is registered as a pupil of Goltzius and Cornelis van Haarlem, but he probably started his training in Amsterdam with Jan Pynas, Nicolaes Moeyaert and Pieter Lastman.He painted history paintings, portraits and landscapes. As a Catholic he probably also made altar pieces for the Haarlem underground Catholic churches known as mission stations, or staties. He was a member of the Chamber of rhetoric called "De Wijngaertranken". This is probably how he met his wife Anna, the sister of the painter Jan and the poet Jacob Westerbaen. They married in 1625 and in 1630 he became a member of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke. He cooperated with fellow Haarlem lukasguild member Jacob van Campen in the decoration of Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. His works draw on the spirit of the Dutch classicism beginning at that time, and are comparable with those of Pieter de Grebber.
Transcription of Salomon de Bray's proposed hierarchy of the guild in 1631. The Haarlem archivist C.J. Gonnet published a book in 1877 on the Haarlem St. Lukasgilde archives. This was meant for historians wishing to do research on Haarlem painting, but who could not read the old handwriting.De Bray was also active as a designer of silverwork, as a poet, as an architect and as a town planner for the city council of Haarlem. He designed an ambitious plan to expand the city on the North side that was partially implemented in the decades after his death. He became headman of the Guild of St. Luke and even prepared a new charter for the guild (that was never ratified) in 1631. As an architect, he was involved in the construction or expansion of Haarlem's City Hall, Zijlpoort, and St. Annakerk (Church of St. Anne), and Nijmegen's city orphanage. One of his poems was set to music by his friend the composer Cornelis Padbru??.
Salomon de Bray was the father of ten children, of whom three (Dirck de Bray, Jan de Bray, and Joseph de Bray) became notable artists. He probably died of the plague that hit Haarlem in 1664, as he and his children Jacob, Josef, Juliana and Margaretha all died in April and May of that year. His wife had already died the previous year. He was buried in the Sint-Bavokerk in Haarlem.
In 1631 Salomon de Bray wrote "Architectura Moderna" which provided a biography and descriptions of buildings built by Hendrick de Keyser, one of the key Dutch architects of the period