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Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A scene in an arsenal c.1485-90

RCIN 912647

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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