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 :. | Jacopo Bellini | The Annunciation | Madchenkopf with confused hair | Study fur the head of a Madchens | Study fur the communion |
Related Artists:Giovanni Ponticelli
Italian, 1855-1877Ernest Laurent
(June 8, 1859 -- June 25, 1929) was a French painter and printmaker. He was born in Gentilly and died in Bievre.
Laurent was a neo-impressionist artist whose main influences were his instructor Ernest Hebert and his friend Georges Seurat. Laurent took second prize in the Prix de Rome in 1889 and in 1890, Laurent arrived in Rome, where Hebert remained Director of the Academie de France. From Rome, he went to Assisi where he underwent a mystical experience. It would profoundly influence his art. The work he returned to Paris from Assisi was noted for its religious themes.
Over time, profound religious devotion influenced his artistic motif and religious symbolism and scenery crept into his work. This aspect of his life ran counter to Seurat's materialism and the two parted ways.
Giovanni Battista Pittoni
Giambattista Pittoni (June 6, 1687-November 6, 1767) was an Italian painter of the late-Baroque or Rococo period, active mainly in his native Venice.
Pittoni was born in Venice, and studied painting under his uncle Francesco Pittoni and Antonio Balestra. Little is known of his early career. He entered the Venetian painters' guild in 1716. In 1722-1723, he was commissioned to paint eThe Torture of St Thomase for San Stae in Venice, which also contains one if his later works in its sacristy. He also completed the transit of Santa Maria in Organo in Verona in 1725. In 1727, he was appointed honorary Academician of the Accademia Clementina in Bologna. In subsequent years, Pittoni never left his native Venice, but completed a number of important and lucrative commissions from German, Polish, Russian, Italian and Austrian patrons, including eThe Sacrifice of Jephthah's daughtere for the Royal Palace of Turin, a number of works for the Marshal von Schulenburg, and a eMartyrdom of St Batholomewe for the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. Pittoni came to be known for his "grand-manner" canvases depicting religious, historical, and mythological subjects (such as Sophonisba and Polyxena).
By 1740, he established a studio and residence in the San Giacomo district of Venice, and took on numerous apprentices. Pittoni died at age 80 on November 6, 1767. His tomb is at the church of San Giacomo dall'Orio in Venice.
Pittoni was a co-founder of the official painter's academy in Venice (in competition to the old fraglia or painter's guild), the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, and he succeeded as President (1758-1761) his contemporary Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. His mature palette was noted, as was Tiepolo's, for his lightness of tone. Besides Tiepolo, Pittoni's influences were Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, Sebastiano Ricci, and Antonio Balestra. His paintings were of a Rococo style, but later became more sedate in their approach towards Neoclassicism.