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A scene in an arsenal


RCIN 912647

During the 1480s Leonardo lived in Milan, Italy’s leading centre of arms manufacture. His many military drawings of the period suggest that he dallied with the idea of writing a treatise on weaponry, to which this drawing may have been envisaged as an illustration. Teams of nude men struggle to take the weight of an enormous siege cannon, of a type that was then a speciality of eastern European and Ottoman foundries, weighing many tons and firing huge stone cannonballs.

No. 4

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