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A late equestrian monument

Late in life Leonardo planned a third equestrian monument, following on from the abandoned Sforza monument and the unexecuted Trivulzio monument. It is inherently likely that Francis I was the intended subject, shown variously as a triumphant military commander or a Roman emperor. As before, Leonardo began by considering a rearing horse, but his most carefully worked studies show the horse pacing, and he made a number of detailed studies of heavily-muscled horses in that pose.

But Leonardo seems not to have attempted large-scale or physically demanding work in his last years, and he did not put his mind to the practicalities of modelling or casting the sculpture.

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Studies for an equestrian monument

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Studies for an equestrian monument

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Studies for an equestrian monument

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A study for an equestrian monument

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

The chest and hindquarters of a horse

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Horses' legs and hindquarters

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Recto: Horses' legs. Verso: A horse