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The Battle of Anghiari and the revival of Leonardo’s anatomical work

The drawings in this section form part of Leonardo’s work towards a huge mural of the Battle of Anghiari which led him back to the study of human anatomy.

The painting was commissioned in 1503 for the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence. It remained unfinished and was later obliterated, but the central scene, showing a furious cavalry skirmish, is known through copies.

Leonardo prepared for the project meticulously, executing many drawings of the musculature of men both at rest and in action. He was concerned primarily with recording appearances, and the studies thus have an objectivity that was to be crucial to some of his great discoveries over the next ten years.

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A male nude, and a partial study of the left leg

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A male nude

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

The muscles of the shoulder, torso and leg

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

The leg muscles and bones of man and horse