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Leonardo da Vinci and The Battle of Anghiari

19th March (Sat.) - 29th May (Sun.), 2016

Closed on Mondays (except for 21st March and 2nd May), 22nd March

Admission Fee:

Adults: 1300 yen, College students: 900 yen 
Elementary / Junior high school / high school students:  500 yen
held in Gallery 3, 4


To this day, The Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo da Vinci remains as shrouded in enigma as it is with intrigue. One of the largest mural projects he ever undertook, it is ranked among the most ambitious decorative works in the history of Italian Renaissance art. What is widely known is that da Vinci and Michelangelo had been concurrently commissioned in 1504, the former to depict a battle scene from the famous military clash that took place in Tuscany in 1440, the latter to paint another battle in Cascina that occurred in 1364. The two works were to adorn opposite walls of the Salone dei cinquecento (Hall of the five Hundred) in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

Neither mural, however, was ever completed – and only tantalizing hints of what may have been are left for us to marvel at, puzzle over and debate. For instance, the only clue that still exists of what The battle of Cascina that Michelangelohad envisaged for the Hall is full-scale sketch of his original composition. And while da Vinci’s work had progressed beyond the sketching phase, it was still only partially finished and was eventually painted over the 1560s by Giorgio Vasari.

Even so, The Battle of Anghiari – which has been hailed for its powerful portrayal of the fury and grace of horseback men at war – continued to exert immense influence on generations of artists to come.

Our exhibition is comprised of two primary features, the first being the Tavola Doria, a renowned oil painting dating back to the 16th century believed to represent the central position of da Vinci’s original mural. The second is a 16th-century wood-panel reproduction of Michelangelo’s The Battle of Cascina. Neither of these works has ever been exhibited in Japan. Nor have they ever been put on display as they are in this exhibition – wood-panel reproductions set side by side – over the past five centuries of Italian art history.

Tavola Doria

Anonymous artist, after Leonardo da Vinci
Tavola Doria (scene of the"Fight for the Standard" fromThe Battle of Anghiari)
First half of the 16th century
Florence, Galleria delgli Uffizi
(donated by Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, 2012)

The Battle of Cascina

Bastiano da Sangallo, called Aristotile da Sangallo
The Battle of Cascina, after Michelangelo
1542 
Holkham Hall, Collection if the Earl of Leicester
© Collection of the Earl of Leicester, Holkham Hall,
Norfolk By kind permission of Lord Leicester and the Trustees of Holkham Estate

Six Studies of Buttock and Rear Legs of a Horse

Leonardo da Vinci
Six Studies of Buttock and Rear Legs of a Horse
ca.1508?
Turin, Biblioteca Reale

Portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli

Santi di Tito
Portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli
ca.1570
Florence, Museo di Palazzo Vecchio (on deposit from the Gallerie Fiorentine)

The Battle of Anghiari

Attributed to Peter Paul Rubens, after Leonardo da Vinci
The Battle of Anghiari
Early 17th century
Vienna, Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste
Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien