The Forerunner by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale (1872-1945) from the Lady Lever Art Gallery collection.
In this painting from 1920, the famous artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci is showing a model of his flying machine to his patrons, Ludovico Sforza and Beatrice d'Este. Her interest in the subject reflects her enthusiasm for Renaissance art. The model seems to be based on a drawing in Leonardo’s Codex MSSB (book of scientific drawings now in the Institut de France) thought to date from the late 1480s. She may have also been inspired by her personal connections with Charles Rolls, the aviator, and her own interest in airplane technology. There was widespread interest in Leonardo's work on flight during the early 1920s, when this painting was first exhibited.
Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale was a painter, designer, illustrator and a key figure in the last phase of Pre-Raphaelitism. She was one of the most successful artists of the Edwardian period. Her work could be seen in exhibitions, magazines, books, churches, and private homes. Fortescue-Brickdale worked in the style pioneered by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood founded in 1848 by John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Eleanor’s work told stories, drew morals and celebrated the beauty of nature.
Dimensions: 30 x 40cm
Brand: Lady Lever Art Gallery
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