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The return to Florence 1500-1506

After the fall of Ludovico Sforza, his patron in Milan, Leonardo returned to Florence, the city of his youth. He tried to reestablish himself as a painter, but was reported to be preoccupied with geometry and ‘very impatient with the brush’, and in 1502 he left to work for the commander of the papal army.

Within a year Leonardo was back in Florence, where he was commissioned to paint a huge mural, the Battle of Anghiari, in the Palazzo della Signoria. He worked on that painting for the next three years, while also making maps for the Florentine government and beginning the Mona Lisa and a painting of Leda and the Swan. In 1506 the French occupiers of Milan requested that Leonardo return to Milan, and for the next two years he travelled repeatedly between Milan and Florence.

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