Saturday, November 18, 2017

Leonardo da Vinci Biography for Kids: A Horse for the Duke of Sforza

March 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Art History, Artists Biographies

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Today we will talk about Leonardo da Vinci Biography for Kids: A Horse for the Duke of Sforza, this was one of  the most important commissions Leonardo received in Milan.

After Leonardo da Vinci arrived to Milan, he proposed to build the biggest sculpture ever as a memorial for the Duke’s father. Leonardo sketched horses for sixteen years; he initially wanted the horse standing on his hind legs; with its front hooves reaching in the air. He later changed the design, when he realized it was going to be impossible to keep it stable.

He finished the clay model in 1493. He worked not only on the sketches and the clay model, but also he also researched the casting process. The giant horse was 8 meters (23 feet) in height, three times larger than life size and the Duke had saved seventy-five tons of bronze to be used in the monument.

Before the sculpture could be finished, the French attacked the city, and the Duke order to melt the bronze to make cannons. The triumphant soldiers destroyed the clay model using it as a target practice.

Leonardo felt very bad when he realized the work of so many years had vanished, but what really bothered him was what Michelangelo (the artist who painted the Sistine Chapel, said to him: “No, explain it yourself, horse-modeller that you are, who, unable to cast a statue in bronze, were forced to give up the attempt in shame.” 

Even though Leonardo couldn’t finish the sculpture, his horse sketches are amazing. He never attempted to build any other sculpture again.

This article is part of my series about Leonardo da Vinci where you will find information about his life, facts and anecdotes of his science and artistic activities and his inventions.

These fully illustrated series are especially design for kids, to give them a complete understanding about his work. Please check our archive in the link below to have access to all the articles related to Leonardo da Vinci.

 Welcome to leonardo da Vinci wonderful life, please remember to leave your comments and questions below.

Leonardo da Vinci The Horse  Sculpture for the Duke Sforza, for kids

Once in Milan, the most important commission the Duke of Sforza gave Leonardo, was to build a huge horseback sculpture.

Leonardo sketched horses for sixteen years; he initially wanted the horse standing on his hind legs; with its front hooves reaching in the air.

He later changed the design, when he realized it was going to be impossible to keep it stable.

He finished the clay model in 1493. He worked not only on the sketches and the clay model, but also he also researched the casting process.

The giant horse was 8 meters (23 feet) in height, three times larger than life size and the Duke had saved seventy-five tons of bronze to be used in the monument.

Before the sculpture could be finished, the French attacked the city, and the Duke order to melt the bronze to make cannons. The triumphant soldiers destroyed the clay model using it as a target practice.

When Leonardo realized the work of so many years had vanished, he felt very bad; but what really bothered him was what Michelangelo (the artist who painted the Sistine Chapel, said to him: “No, explain it yourself, horse-modeller that you are, who, unable to cast a statue in bronze, were forced to give up the attempt in shame.”

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