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Assault chariot with scythes - Leonardo Da Vinci

Assault chariot with scythes - Leonardo Da Vinci

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Unique quality material

Print on handmade paper from Amalfi
Measurement : 29 x 42 cm
Material : work printed on very fine handmade Amalfi paper with fringed edges
Frame : Handmade light brown beech wood

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The work

Assault chariot with scythes c. 1485
Silverpoint, pen and ink on paper, 210 x 292 mm
Royal Library, Turin

The image shows one of Leonardo da Vinci's famous drawings, depicting an assault chariot equipped with blades, presumably scythes, designed for the battlefield. The detailed composition and arrangement of the page suggest that Leonardo may have intended to present it to a patron or potential client.

It has been suggested that this drawing could have been part of a cover letter to Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan, where Leonardo offered his services as a military engineer and military architect. The page seems to be more of a demonstration of the visual effect of the inventions rather than a detailed technical exposition.

It is not clear whether the technology depicted was an original invention of Leonardo's or if he was inspired by the scythed chariots described in the classical treaties of the time, with which he was undoubtedly familiar.

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