The Italian Almanac

the battle of Anghiari

Italian Art - September 21

Two copies of Leonardo da Vinci's greatest lost fresco The Battle of Anghiari are the centrepiece of an upcoming show in Florence capping the city's Leonardo year. The copies, by anonymous painters, will probably be on display when art experts finally unveil the remnants of the great fresco later this years.

Ultrasound scans revealed parts of Leonardo's masterpiece behind a Vasari fresco earlier this year. Work to uncover them is proceeding tentatively, given the precarious state of the unfinished fresco, which was already crumbling in Leonardo's time. The paintings of the battle - one of the most imitated works of the Renaissance, despite its short life - are flanked by two copies of lost portrayals of Leda and the Swan and a raft of sketches by the master himself.

La Mente di Leonardo al Tempo della Battaglia di Anghiari (Leonardo's Mind At The Time Of The Battle Of Anghiari) runs at the Uffizi Gallery from October 3 to January 7, 2007. It is the crowning piece of a wide-ranging series of shows around Florence this year entitled La Mente di Leonardo, nel Laboratorio del Genio Universale (Leonardo's Mind, Inside The Laboratory Of The Universal Genius).

The shows move to Japan's National Museum in Tokyo next year.