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.
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: