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 :. | Reverse side of the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci | Madonna with a Flower (Madonna Benois) g | Ceiling decoration yy | Salai as John the Baptist | Female head (La Scapigliata) wt |
Related Artists:Egedius, Halfdan
1877-1899,Norwegian painter and illustrator. His artistic education began at the age of nine, when he enrolled at the school of art of Knud Bergslien (1827-1908) in Kristiania, where he was a pupil from 1886 to 1889. Even from this early period his painted studies and drawings, for instance of his sister Signe and brother Carl (both 1887; Oslo, N.G.), reveal striking maturity. In 1891 he was a pupil of Erik Werenskiold and from 1891 to 1892 he studied at the Arts and Crafts School in Kristiania. Egedius discovered his strongest impetus and greatest inspiration, however, on his first visit to Telemark in south-west Norway in summer 1892. The artist Torleif Stadskleiv (1865-1946), whom he met there and who became his closest friend, endeared the region to Egedius with stories of its traditions and people. In 1894 Egedius studied for a short period under Harriet Backer, and he made his d?but at the Kristiania Autumn Exhibition in 1894 with the painting Saturday Evening (Oslo, N.G.), painted in Telemark the previous year, which won high praise. In this landscape the atmosphere of the summer night is rendered with a lyrical use of colour and soft brushstrokes. Egedius spent the summer of 1894 in the inspiring and instructive company of a group of artists at V?g? in the Gudbrands Valley in north-west Norway, but for the summer of 1895 he was again in Telemark. Since his previous stay there he had matured artistically and his work now revealed a new confidence and boldness. The most notable paintings from 1895 are 'Juvrestolen' in Telemark, The Dreamer, Girls Dancing and the magnificent portrait of Mari Clasen (all Oslo, N.G.). He also began work on Music and Dance (Oslo, N.G., see fig.), which he continued the following year. John Smibert
John Smibert Gallery
John Smybert (or Smibert) (1688 - 1751), Scottish American artist, was born in Edinburgh and died in Boston, Massachusetts.
He studied under Sir James Thornhill, and in 1728 accompanied Bishop Berkeley to America, with the intention of becoming professor of fine arts in the college which Berkeley was planning to found in Bermuda. The college, however, was never established, and Smybert settled in Boston, where he married in 1730.
In 1731 he painted "Dean George Berkeley and His Family," also called "The Bermuda group", now in the Yale University Art Gallery, Yale University, a group of eight figures; it is maintained that the person furthest to the left is actually the artist himself. He painted portraits of Jonathan Edwards and Judge Edmund Quincy (in the Boston Art Museum), Mrs Smybert, Peter Faneuil and Governor John Endecott (in the Massachusetts Historical Society), John Lovell (Memorial Hall, Harvard University), and probably one of Sir William Pepperrell; and examples of his works are owned by Harvard and Yale Universities, by Bowdoin College, by the Massachusetts Historical Society, and by the New England Historical and Genealogical Society.
Portrait of Edmund Quincy, attributed to John Smybert
Plaque at Granary Burying Ground in Boston commemorating SmybertBetween 1740-42, he served as architect for the original Faneuil Hall, which he designed in the style of an English country market. The hall burned down in 1761 but was restored, and then in 1806 greatly expanded and modified by Charles Bulfinch.
His son Nathaniel was also a painter. Smybert lies in an unmarked grave in the Granary Burying Ground in Boston.Eugene Bidau