Leonardo da Vinci and the Dream of a Colossal Horse for Milan
A colossal endeavour - build an enormous bronze horse, as it rears up to come crashing down on the enemy. In the saddle, the Duke of Milan Francesco Sforza, founder of a dynasty and father of the client commissioning the work, Ludovico Sforza. The task turns out to be daunting, even for a genius like Leonardo da Vinci. The artist and inventor fills page after page with sketches and drawings, studying the musculature of the animal and spending a measureless amount of time trying to figure out how to hold up this 100-ton giant - the largest equestrian monument in the world, conceived to obscure the works by Donatello and Verrocchio. But the project is destined to remain on paper only. The numerous commitments of Leonardo slow down the progress of the work and the bronze necessary to forge the statue ends up being used to cast cannons to be sent to the aid of the Dukedom of Este, under threat from the French. In 1499, the troops of Louis XII invade Milan - the reign of Ludovico Sforza and the dream of Leonardo collapse simultaneously. While the artist flees to Mantova, in the Castle of Sforza, enemy soldiers use the model of the horse for target practice, shattering it with their crossbows.