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Leonardo da Vinci’s Study for the Sforza Monument, 1490

reconsidered by

Nina Akamu, as Leonardo’s Horse, 1999

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Left: drawing on blue paper, 211×110 mm, Windsor Castle, inv. RL12290    

Right: bronze statue, 7,30 m high, Hippodromo de San Siro, Milan (photo Wikipedia)

The Sforza monument was never realized by Leonardo but a model did exist before it was destroyed by French troops in Milan in 1499. During 1988-1996 the Americans Charles Dent and Garth Herrick produced a model according to Leonardo’s design and specifications, but in the foundry it could not be executed. Then the American sculptress Nina Akamu was asked to solve the problems. She concluded that with Leonardo’s specifications the statue could not be realized. Nina Akamu adapted the design, made a new model and Tallix Art Foundry realized the present impressive statue of 7,30 meter high in 1999. A copy with the same height is in Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids MI, however with the title ‘The American Horse’. Nina Akamu considers her work as a tribute to Leonardo da Vinci (Paul Liebermann in Los Angeles Times, 25 June 1999).