Four studies of horses' legs c1489-90

While in some drawings, Leonardo conceives of the entire horse, on this sheet, which is probably from a sketchbook, he focuses on individual parts – the raised forelock and straight, weight-bearing legs of the horse.

The studies are arranged neatly on the page to form a careful record that would undoubtedly provide a useful guide for the clay model of the Sforza horse.

The bent, left foreleg on the bottom left is the last of the four studies executed and this reflects the final solution adopted for the colossal statue. This element was repeatedly studied in other drawings by the artist, which indicates that he was particularly interested in the potential of this element to express the impending movement and power of the horse.

  • Medium Metalpoint, highlighted with brush and white gouache, on dark blue prepared paper
  • Size 15.5 x 20.4 cm
  • Location Biblioteca Reale

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