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 :. | Horses with horsemen | La Gioconda (The Mona Lisa) | Saint John the Baptist | The Virgin and Child with Anne (mk05) | Studies for a Nativity |
Related Artists:Meyer, Jeremiah
English Painter, 1735-1789
German enameller and painter, active in England. He was the son of a portrait painter at the court of W?rttemberg. He arrived in England c. 1749 and studied in London at St Martin's Lane Academy and then (1757-8) under Christian Friedrich Zincke; as a result of this training, much of Meyer's early work was painted on enamel. He exhibited (1760-67) at the Society of Artists and in 1761 was awarded its gold medal for a profile portrait of George III. In 1762 he became a naturalized Englishman. That year he was appointed miniature painter to Queen Charlotte and in 1764 painter in enamel to the King. Meyer was a founder-member of the Royal Academy and exhibited miniatures, enamels and watercolours there (1769-83). Cornelius Gijsbrechts
Flemish Baroque Era Painter, ca.1630-1675Artur Grottger
(1837 - 1867) was a Polish painter and graphic designer, one of the most prominent artists of the early 1800s despite his brief life.
He was born in Eastern Galicia to an amateur artist of German background, Jan Jozef Grottger, and a Polish mother. Grottger studied painting under the apprenticeships of Jan Kanty Maszkowski and Juliusz Kossak in Lwew. Grottger received an imperial scholarship to attend the Krakow School of Fine Arts, where he studied under Władysław Łuszczkiewicz and Wojciech Kornel Stattler. Around this time he met one of his biggest future art patrons and benefactors, Aleksander Pappenheim.
Grottger painted mostly epic battle scenes. He moved to Vienna in 1854, where he produced some of his most famous paintings. In 1865, Grottger returned to Poland and stayed in Krakew and Lwew, but left this time for good in 1866.