Leonardo da Vinci, widely revered as one of the greatest draughtsmen in Western art, created a drawing that depicted the casting of a giant cannon. The steam-powered cannon was called Architonnerre or Architronito and was attributed by Leonardo to Archimedes in the 3rd century BC. This drawing is believed to have been made in the late 15th century during the Italian Renaissance.
Known for his multi-disciplinary skills and intense curiosity about scientific matters, Leonardo studied different materials and mediums with precision, including red chalks. He also designed a triple barrel canon to address issues related to heavy traditional canons that took too long to reload.
In this drawing, Leonardo reveals his mastery of detail as he portrays an industrial scene with high precision. Given his fascination with botanical and anatomical studies, it’s not surprising that he went into great detail depicting every step needed for casting huge cannons.
Leonardo’s artwork shows both his technical knowledge and creativity through detailed depictions such as those seen in Vitruvian Man. His works remain relevant today as they provide insight into innovation thinking on various scientific disciplines during the Renaissance period in Italy where several city-states were perpetually at war with each other.