Tuesday, September 17, 2019


A reminder to members of City Daily Photo: the theme day for October is Orange.

A large space at this exhibit featured shifting images of Leonardo's designs and art, with a current day reproduction of one of his designs at its heart.

That design was a tank. It never went into production beyond his designs, and has been found to have a flaw that would have rendered it useless. The cranks that moved the wheels were set in the wrong direction, making it impossible to move forward. Was this a deliberate act by an avowed pacifist to sabotage his own work?

Seeing his take on what would come to fruition centuries later was interesting, however.

Pacifist or not, his patrons wanted military designs, and some of those concepts are brought to life in reproductions, full scale or models. They include an assault ladder, one of a number Leonardo designed.

His engineering skills in the field of weapons of war proved to be formidable.

A mowing wagon was one of his designs, using horse power, but which never really advanced beyond the concept stage.

At one point, Leonardo and his rival Michelangelo were commissioned by Florentine patrons to paint two epic renditions of battles. Leonardo was to paint the Battle of Anghiari, while Michelangelo was to paint the Battle of Cascina. Neither artist completed their work; Leonardo's work has been called the Lost Leonardo, as what he had finished was painted over in 1565. Some of his sketch work of the painting survives, and copies of the vivid details were on display.

More of Leonardo the weaponeer. This is created from his designs, a fan shaped multi-directional gun machine. It is thought that it would have been difficult to reload during battle.

And this is a three registered gun machine. Leonardo sought to increase the rate in which cannons could be fired, and he designed multiple cannon devices such as this one, on a revolving framework of three that would allow for one rack to be firing, one on standby, and one cooling off after firing. His theoretical designs are thought to be the forerunner, centuries ahead of time, of the machine gun.

The emergency bridge is another Leonardo concept, designed to be erected quickly in battle conditions by making use of small tree trunks in the vicinity of a river and interweaving their trunks without the need for nails or ropes. Downward pressure is applied to lock the braced pieces together.


  1. Very talented person. He was an amazing human being ... pacifist or not!

  2. Oh, men and war... But he was genius for sure.

  3. ...he had so many accomplishments!

  4. Hello, he was a talented man, very smart. Enjoy your day, have a great new week!

  5. The interesting inventions are so numerous. And the drawings are delightful. Thanks for the remind on "orange". I wonder how man;y CDP members there are these days. Do you know?


  6. That man was really incredibly creative and broadly oriented.

  7. I failed to hear in my art history classes that he and Michelangelo were competitors. That's doubly amazing!

  8. @Lady Fi: that it is.

    @Ella: quite true.

    @Iris: he certainly was.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Tom: he did.

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @Marianne: definitely.

    @Janis: I think thirty or forty people tend to take part in the theme days these days, but there are more who don't.

    @Anvilcloud: you wonder.

    @Jan: I agree.

    @Barbara: apparently the dislike was mutual, and intense.

  9. How did he calm his mind? Or did he?

  10. I must say that I like that last bridge, William. It is a huge display that they put together.

  11. Talented man. I like the design of the tank.

  12. He was a genius in many fields.

  13. Lovely 'orange theme' photos ~ Da Vinci was awesome ^_^

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  14. @Marie: I suspect even in his sleep his mind was racing.

    @RedPat: the exhibit was well done.

    @Nancy: I did as well.

    @Red: he certainly was.

    @Carol: I agree.

  15. Leo was such a genius and I sometimes wonder if we have that level of genius, with creativity, around today.

  16. I don't recall seeing the weapons before. That is very interesting.

  17. So Fortunate To Have Operating Museums Such As These


  18. Whoa! That gun machine looks formidable.

  19. The gun machine is pretty impressive.

  20. I am a lifelong Leonardo fan but never saw that Buckminster Fuller Bridge! Holy origami!

  21. I never realised he had designed weapons. Very informative post.

  22. It is almost scary how far ahead he was of the other humans. Tweeted.

  23. Who would have thought that Leonardo would have designed the first prototype of a machine gun! :-(

  24. That's a good point from Michelle …
    "Leo was such a genius and I sometimes wonder if we have that level of genius, with creativity, around today."

    All the best Jan

  25. @Michelle: not on his level.

    @Maywyn: thanks for stopping in.

    @Sharon: they're quite different.

    @Padre: I agree.

    @Revrunner: indeed.

    @Bill: I think so too.

    @Cloudia: definitely!

    @Fun60: thank you!

    @Mari: that's true.

    @DJan: he was quite a talent.

    @Jan: I agree with that.

  26. All the model constructions are truly amazing!

  27. Like Michelle I too wonder: do we have that level of genius around today? And what a restless, wide-ranging mind he had!

  28. I wish I could see this exhibit in person, so glad to have these images to get a glimpse at it all!

  29. These are really remarkable. That tank is so advanced -- even with the flaw -- deliberate or otherwise, look what a prototype it was!

  30. @Joanne: they are!

    @Magiceye: definitely.

    @Kay: he certainly did.

    @Beth: it was.

    @Catalyst: I did too.

    @Jenn: a pleasure to show it.

    @Jeanie: it would have been quite something to see in full size. I know I've seen shots of a contemporary reproduction that would have been of that size. Leonardo's tank was meant to fit several people. This size wouldn't have allowed that.