It is Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the greatest painters of all time. What everyone does not know is that he also designed one of the most ambitious equestrian works of his time, the Sforza’s horse
And, probably, the person with the greatest number of talents in multiple disciplines.
Engineer and inventor, musician, painter, architect, writer, sculptor, scientist, poet, philosopher.
Leonardo develops ideas very advanced to his time, such as the helicopter, the battle car, the automobile and the submarine.
In his role as a scientist he made progress in anatomy, optics (study of light), civil engineering and hydrodynamics.
In 1472, at the age of twenty, he appeared registered in the Red Book of the Guild of San Lucas.
The guild of artists and doctors of medicine, which in Florence was grouped under the name of “Campagnia de pittori”.
In 1478, he offered to build the octagonal church of San Juan de Florencia.
At the age of 26, he moves away from his teacher after having excelled brilliantly in all disciplines. In this way he becomes an independent master painter.
Who was Leonardo Da Vinci and what were his contributions to humanity?
Leonardo Da Vinci is one of the most famous and prolific artists in history. His work “The Mona Lisa” is one of the most recognizable paintings by young and old. So much so that his name has been used in literary works such as “The Da Vinci Code”. But since we like to talk about equestrian art we cannot stop talking about Sforza’s Horse, the horse of Leonardo Da Vinci, a project that was ready to materialize, but do you know what happened? Well, stay with us and we’ll tell you.
Without a doubt, Leonardo Da Vinci is an impressive artist with the skills of inventor and engineer. His gifts made him participate in the most grandiose projects of the Renaissance. However, many of his projects remained ideas.
Da Vinci had a quality typical of curious men, he got tired of giving too much attention to his projects and ended up moving on to another. Also many of his projects were not really achievable in his time. But his sketches were the basis of some later inventions, such as the tank or the helicopter.
Some of his ideas also helped bring the tank or submarine to life.
Sforza’s horse, Leonardo Da Vinci’s horse
The project of Sforza’s Horse, Leonardo Da Vinci’s horse, was the culmination of his work for patron Ludovico Sforza. This commission represented the request for a gigantic equestrian statue in honor of Ludovico Sforza’s father, Francisco I Sforza.
Lorenzo de’ Medici, famous patron of the time, identifying the talent of Leonardo Da Vinci, recommends it to Ludovico Sforza. The Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, incorporates Leonardo into the court of Milan. He entrusts him with a series of tasks as an Engineer, without neglecting Leonardo’s different abilities. His other activity at the court of Milan would be associated with painting.
Among his tasks as an engineer was the elaboration of complex stretches and decorations for celebrations. Leonardo Da Vinci was in charge of this activity for the wedding of Ludovico Sforza and Beatriz de Este. Demonstrating his ability, he was entrusted with such a task for the wedding of Ana Sforza and Alfonso I de Este. He was entrusted with the task of the equestrian statue in honor of Ludovico’s father.
His lack of constancy in the works and his ability to distract himself between so many projects meant that this statue was also entrusted to other Florentine artists. But if there was one thing Leonardo Da Vinci loved, it was the challenges. This is how a clay sculpture was released that would serve to make the mold of the Sforza, the horse of Leonardo Da Vinci.
A sculpture so monumental that the court poet, Baldassare Tacone, said of it:
“I look at its enormous a breathtaking beauty, greater than anything seen before, not even in ancient Greece and Rome, and it has been created by Leonardo da Vinci.”
Sforza’s horse appears
Between 1482 and 1500 is the period in which Da Vinci works with the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza.
In this period, another phase of training and work begins that leads to a large project.
After his passage through Florence, the painter is signed by the ruler and banker Lorenzo de ‘Medici who sends him to the Duke of Milan to fulfill a mission.
The Duke decorated him as a painter and engineer giving him the title of: Apeles florentino
Recognition reserved only for great painters.
At that time he also painted several portraits of the court of Milan.
This contact of Leonardo with the enlightened elites of Milan was important because they made him realize the gaps in his training.
The project of Sforza’s Horse
Later Ludovico orders Da Vinci to pay tribute to his father.
It is an equestrian sculpture called Sforza.
The Sforza’s Horse would be more than 7 meters high, would have required to pour 100,000 kilos of molten metal into a mold quickly enough for uniform cooling.
For that purpose, he invented a system of multiple ovens that was never used since a threat of war made all the metal was destined to the manufacture of cannons.
In September of 1515, the new king of France, Francisco I, reconquered Milan after winning in the battle of Marignan.
In November of the same year, Leonardo designed a new project on the layout of the Médici district in Florence.
On December 19, he was present at the meeting between Francisco I and Pope Leo X that was held in Bologna.
Francisco I entrusts Leonardo with a mechanical lion that could walk and with the detail that the chest was opened to show the fleur-de-lis.
It is not known for what occasion this lion was conceived, but it may be related to the arrival of the king in Lyon, or to the peace talks between the king and the pope.
If you want to know more about Gustavo Mirabal or Equestrian Word, go to: