Leonardo da Vinci, Sculptor

Leonardo da Vinci, Sculptor

By Raymond S. Stites

Art Studies, Vol. 4 (1926)

In view of the ill-fated attempt of Geheimrat Bode to acquire, in the wax bust of the Flora, a real Leonardo for the Berlin Museum, writers have become more chary in attempting to assign works of sculpture to that artist. The most successful of recent efforts has been that of Professor Meller of the Budapest Museum, a review of whose article in the Prussian Jahrbuch appeared in the Art Bulletin, Vol. II, pp. 129 ff. He was able to identify a bronze group in his museum as a cast from a model made as a study for the Trivulzio monument; but this little equestrian bronze (23.5cm.high) is so badly cast that most of the modelling has been lost. It does show, however, the spirit of Leonardo’s sketches, and Meller deserves credit for a very complete working over of Leonardo’s career as a sculptor.

In addition to a number of scattered studies in the Burlington Magazine, and a restatement of Bode’s belief in his recent Studien über Leonardo da Vinci, there has recently appeared a very thorough work on the subject of leonardo as sculptor by the man most familiar with the Milan of Leonardo’s time, Malaguzzi Valeri. Malaguzzi Valeri throws into high relief the close relationship of leonardo to his pupil, Rustici, and his master, Verrocchio. The suggestion is advanced that Leonardo participated extensively in the commissions received by Verrocchio, particularly in the Colleoni monument.

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