Lost wax bronze replica with gilded patina.
The “Ancient Horse” is a classical piece of uncertain attribution. It is supposed to be inspired by one of the sketches or drawings by Leonardo da Vinci on his famous never completed equestrian monument, tribute to Francesco il Moro Duke of Milan.
In 1482 the Duke of Milan Ludovico il Moro proposed to Leonardo to build the largest equestrian statue in the world, a monument to his father Francesco.
The equestrian monument was elaborated throughout 11 years, from 1482 to 1493, and never saw an end. He was only able to develop a life-size clay model that was exposed to the public in 1493 in Milan, and aroused general admiration. Everything was ready for the bronze casting which needed 100 tons of liquid bronze for its execution. But at the very last step Milan was invaded by French troops and the 100 tons of bronze were precipitately used to construct cannons for defensive purposes. The clay model, left in the courtyard of the Duke’s palace was destroyed by the French soldiers invading Milan in 1499.
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