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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Leonardo Da Vinci Horse Drawings

Leonardo Da Vinci's influence has enjoyed a truly broad reach. His genius and creativity has left countless many spellbound. His range was limitless. One of his greatest passions was in regard to the wonderful gift of the horse and how it came to the people of Italy.

Back in 1482, the Duke of Sforza commissioned Leonardo to create the largest horse statue the world had ever seen. It was during this time (about 17 years) that he also undertook many other artistic endeavors like-

• The Last Supper
• New Weapons Designs
• Castle Defense System
• Rhymes & Puzzles
• Milan City Plan
• Portraits of Various Italian Nobles

His horse was manifested as a clay model 24 feet high. It graced the landscape of a vineyard close to the Duke's castle. The clay was eventually cast in bronze.

Sadly, these were savage times, and the respect for artistic genius was not shared by all. In 1499, some French troops entered Milan, and the Gascon bowman accompanied them. Rather than seeing the beauty and majesty of the work, they reduced it down to a simple clay mound with their archer's arrows.

Then in May of 1519, Leonardo Da Vinci died. However, all was not lost concerning his beloved horse. There still existed working sketches, two collections of Leonardo Da Vinci horse drawings that were recovered many years later. The first was the 'Windsor Collection'. This was a set of notebooks that fell into the hands of the famed British Royal Family. The other was labeled 'The Codex Madrid II', and was discovered in 1966, in the ‘Bibliotheca Nacional’ in Madrid.

The Leonardo Da Vinci Horse drawings would be revived again much later, when they appeared in a National Geographic September issue in 1977. It was a revival of Leonardo's horse, and an inspiration to a man named Charles C. Dent.

Dent was an airline pilot and retired. He was also an artist and a collector, who was obsessed with Leonardo's horse. The beauty and the romance combined with the artistic genius captured his soul.

Charles Dent had long been a Da Vinci admirer, and took his collection seriously. He made up his mind that Italy was the rightful place for Leonardo's horse. As a gesture of appreciation on behalf of the American people, the horse was suddenly on its way back to Italy. Dent took up where Leonardo left off. He wanted to explore the possibilities of new angles, shifts in light, turns of positions, to see if he could properly interpret what the master intended for his beloved horse statue. He was fully aware that he would never be able to replicate the horse exactly as it had existed in Leonardo's mind, but he was determined to do it justice, creating a monument that was appropriate to the genius of Leonard Da Vinci.

The rest is history. It is quite remarkable how the destruction of the original clay statue underwent such a travel through time, ending in its resurrection. The reason it was possible was because of the Leonardo Da Vinci horse drawings, and the inspiration of the story and genius that was transferred to the soul of Charles Dent.


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