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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Galloping and kicking horses, and a foot soldier c.1503-4

RCIN 912340

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A sketch of a horse at full gallop, the cloak of its rider billowing in the wind; a galloping horse with its legs gathered beneath it; an outline of a horse kicking; and three studies of a foot soldier delivering a slashing blow with a sword.

Leonardo’s most ambitious painting was the Battle of Anghiari, a huge mural commissioned in 1503 by the Florentine government for the Great Council Chamber of the Palazzo della Signoria. It remained unfinished when Leonardo was called back to Milan in 1506, and was obliterated fifty years later. Here Leonardo sketches first ideas for the composition.

Text adapted from Leonardo da Vinci: A life in drawing, London, 2018