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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Studies for an equestrian monument c.1517-18

Black chalk | 26.7 x 16.1 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 912359

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Studies of horses, full length, in profile to the right with the off fore-leg raised. The drawing in the lower section includes a rider with his arm outstretched and holding a baton. In the top right corner is a geometrical diagram. Leonardo planned to execute three equestrian monuments over the course of his career, none of which was completed. It appears that this drawing is a design for a monument to Francis I, King of France (1515-1547), at whose court Leonardo was employed. Here, three horses are shown in various poses. The sketch at the bottom of the page demonstrates Leonardo's originality, as the rider pulls on the horse's reigns to create a more naturalistic and dynamic pose.