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 :. | Lady with Emine | The Annunciation | Adoration of the Magi | Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist | Virgin of the Rocks (mk10) |
Related Artists:Antonio Viladomat y Manalt
Spanish, 1678-1755,Spanish Catalan painter. He was the most significant figure in Catalan painting from the end of the 17th century to the first half of the 18th. He trained with P. B. Savall and J. B. Perram?n in Barcelona. The arrival of the Archduke Charles (later Charles VI) of Austria in Barcelona in 1703 as a pretender to the throne during the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-13), accompanied by such Italian artists as Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena, acquainted Viladomat y Manalt with artistic trends in Italy. He experienced problems with the artists' guild in Barcelona because of his refusal to participate in the traditional work system. Despite this, his workshop-academy became a centre for the training of numerous painters, sculptors and engravers. Viladomat y Manalt was principally a religious painter, and his oil paintings include Christ Appearing to St Ignatius of Loyola (c. 1711-20; Barcelona, Jesuit Convent) and St Augustine and the Holy Family (Madrid, Prado). He also painted such murals as the tempera Angels with the Sudarium (c. 1727; Matare, S Mar?a, Capilla de los Dolores), but most of the others have disappeared. He painted an extensive series of monastic and evangelical works, in which his revival of compositions characteristic of the Spanish Golden Age is apparent. Examples include the Stigmatization of St Francis (c. 1724; Barcelona, Mus. A. Catalunya), part of a cycle of paintings on the life of St Francis commissioned for the cloister of the convent of S Francisco de As?s in Barcelona. His late Baroque style is related to the severe and realistic trend in Spanish painting in the early 17th century. Some interesting profane allegories by the artist are extant, notably the series Four Seasons (c. 1720-30; Barcelona, Mus. A. Catalunya), which consists of landscapes with genre scenes. Several of the still-lifes by Viladomat y Manalt such as the realistic Still-life with Dead Turkey (Barcelona, Mus. A. Catalunya), which has strong contrasts of light, bear an affinity with Neapolitan painting of the last decades of the 17th century.Lycett, Joseph
1774 - 1825Pascal Adolphe Jean Dagnan-Bouveret
The popular French naturalist painter Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret is best known for his painstakingly detailed paintings of peasant scenes. Dagnan-Bouveret also created portraits and religious paintings.
Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan was born in Paris on Jan. 7, 1852. His father moved to Brazil when he was 16, but he decided to stay in France with his mothers father. Later Dagnan-Bouveret added his grandfathers family name Bouveret to his own. Dagnan-Bouveret entered art school in Paris at age 17 and studied under the well-known academic painter Gerome. During this period Dagnan-Bouveret entered his paintings in several official competitions and placed highly in several. In 1878 Dagnan-Bouveret moved to the region known as the Franche-Comte, where he produced many landscapes and still life paintings. Dagnan-Bouveret won recognition in 1880 with his oil painting An Accident, which depicts a peasant boy with an injured hand visiting the doctor. Considered one of his finest paintings, it exemplifies Dagnan-Bouverets attempt to examine the psychology of his subjects through the use of well-rendered detail.
Dagnan-Bouveret took advantage of new photographic technology to bring greater detail and heightened realism to his paintings. Dagnan-Bouveret used this technique especially in his paintings of peasants, such as Horses at the Watering Trough (1885). Dagnan-Bouveret was known to select people from his village, dress them in historical costumes, and then take photographs, which he then used with sketches as the basis of his paintings. By the 1890s his popularity as a portrait painter among wealthy patrons allowed him to explore more personal themes. Many of Dagnan-Bouverets later paintings, such as Supper at Emmaus (1896 C97), were religious in nature. Dagnan-Bouveret died in Quincey, Haute-Saone, France, on July 3, 1929.