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This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.

The Battle of Anghiari

In 1503 the Florentine government commissioned Leonardo to paint a panoramic mural, some 20 metres (70 feet) wide, in the Great Council Chamber of the Palazzo della Signoria.

The painting was to celebrate the Battle of Anghiari, a historic Florentine victory over Milanese forces. Only the central portion, known as the Fight for the Standard, had been painted when Leonardo was called back to Milan in 1506; that portion was obliterated 50 years later, and is known from copies.

Leonardo prepared meticulously for the project, sketching compositional ideas, individual figures and expressions, and systematically surveying the musculature of male nudes.

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