The Colossus of Leonardo da Vinci

Modern evocations

Like many of Leonardo’s other projects and technical dreams, the Sforza monument arouses passionate interest from the scholars and patrons. Two recent projects have undertaken the realisation of Leonardo’s unfinished monument. The first was carried out under the direction of Hidemichi Tanaka and unveiled in 1989 in Nagoya City, Japan.

The second project was realised in the United States by the artist Nina Akamu, thanks to the sponsorship of the former airline pilot Charles Dent. It was inaugurated in Milan in 1999 and it can still be found in front of the hippodrome of San Siro.

Both recreations focused on reproducing the model, trying to imagine the gait and shape of Leonardo’s horse based on information from historical sources. In the Nagoya project the rider was also reproduced, based on disputable similarities with Leonardo’s studies for the equestrian monument to Gian Giacomo Trivulzio (1440/1-1518), for which there is no specific documentation. In both cases, the approach to the monument was not developed from the point of view of Leonardo’s casting techniques.