Leonardo’s “Gran Cavallo”

Set of Highball Glasses Bearing Sketches of Leonardo's "Gran Cavallo" (LEO Design)

In 1482, the Duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro, commissioned renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci to create a monument for the Duke’s late father—the largest bronze horse ever made, Il Gran Cavallo.  Leonardo set-about the task, sketching designs and making clay models for different potential castings.  Alas, Leonardo never saw the project through to completion. For one thing, the French invaded Milan in 1499, destroying the clay models (which put the project on ice).  And, for another thing, no one was quite sure how to cast such a large figure.

Some 500 years later, a foundation in Allentown, Pennsylvania raised the funds and assembled the talent to complete the project.  Two of the 24 foot tall equines were produced in 1999—one mounted in Milan, another in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Smaller versions of the horse have also been cast, including an eight foot tall version which is mounted in Vinci, Italy, home town of the Maestro.

The set of eight highball glasses pictured above, made in the 1970’s, feature the great artist’s preparatory sketches from his notebooks ($175).  Remember, the glasses were made some twenty-plus years before the great sculpture itself was ever realized.  Please come into the shop to see them in person or call us for further information.


For the Holiday season, LEO Design is open daily from Noon ’til 10:00 pm.