“The Battle of Anghiari” is a famous fresco that Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint in the Hall of the Five Hundred (Salone dei Cinquecento) in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy.
The commission for this artwork came in 1504, and it was intended to depict the victory of the Republic of Florence over Milan in the Battle of Anghiari in 1440.
Leonardo began work on the fresco but faced several challenges, including issues with the experimental technique he used to paint it, which involved mixing oil and tempera paint on the wall.
This technique did not adhere well to the wall surface, and as a result, the fresco started to deteriorate and flake off shortly after it was created.
Leonardo only completed a portion of “The Battle of Anghiari” before it was left unfinished. In 1506, he left Florence to work for the French king, and the fresco was never completed. The space in the Palazzo Vecchio’s Hall of the Five Hundred was eventually painted over by other artists.
Despite its incomplete state and eventual disappearance, “The Battle of Anghiari” is still considered a masterpiece by many art historians.
Leonardo’s preliminary studies and sketches for the fresco, as well as copies and descriptions by other artists, provide valuable insights into his artistic process, even though the original artwork itself has been lost to history.
Summary of key dates related to Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Battle of Anghiari”
1504 – Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint “The Battle of Anghiari” by the Republic of Florence.
Leonardo began working on the fresco in the Hall of the Five Hundred in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence in 1505.
Leonardo used an experimental technique for the fresco, mixing oil and tempera paints directly on the wall. This technique presented challenges and contributed to the eventual deterioration of the artwork.
Leonardo left “The Battle of Anghiari” unfinished in 1506 when he left Florence to work for the French king, François I. He completed only a portion of the mural.
After Leonardo’s departure, the fresco was never completed. Giorgio Vasari, a later artist, painted over it with his own artwork in the mid-16th century.
Over time, as Vasari’s work deteriorated and during later renovations, the original fresco by Leonardo was lost. It is presumed to have been destroyed during these alterations to the Palazzo Vecchio.
Despite the disappearance of the original artwork, “The Battle of Anghiari” remains an important part of Leonardo da Vinci’s legacy. His preparatory sketches, studies, and the copies made by other artists have helped art historians reconstruct its composition and appreciate its significance in the history of art.
These dates provide an overview of the timeline of “The Battle of Anghiari” and its ultimate fate as a lost masterpiece.