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Current time:0:00Total duration:3:17

Video transcript

when Leonardo is emerging on his own as a artist in Florence in the late 14 70s the Florence at that time was full of very important successful artists not only is there Verrocchio's but you also people like Botticelli filippino lippi and the polyol Oh brothers and so Leonardo decides to try his luck elsewhere outside of Florence and he writes a letter to the Duke of Milan and in the job letter Leonardo states all of the skills that he has he's trying to get hired and he's essentially trying to sell himself to the Duke of Milan and what's very interesting about this letter which actually survives most of the letter is a list of Leonardo's skills that have absolutely nothing to do with painting or sculpture the things that Leonardo says he can do include building forts inventing new weapons and so on and then the very end of the letter he says also I can execute sculpture in marble bronze or clay and also painting we think of Leonardo as a great painter and indeed that's what he was but when we read this letter from Leonardo he does not prioritize painting and if anything it comes last in the long list of things that he can do for instance he could invent new weapon systems and so here's a crossbow machine where you see men climbing on the wheel and the crossbow would be shooting arrows out he's interested in saying he can design weapons of war because that's what he thinks the Duke of Milan is going to want when an artist would be a court artist when they would be working for someone like a Duke they were responsible for many many things it was not just making paintings and sculptures they had to design weapons and here's another one it's almost like a tank that slices people in half he sells other things that he can do for the Duke including irrigation things this is a machine that is designed to make water go uphill he also says he can draw maps for military purposes but also for agricultural purposes and this one is from a little bit later but it shows the same basic idea this is of a valley in Tuscany this is the way that an artist needed to sell himself when he is looking for a job in late 15th century Italy now one other thing that Leonardo talks about in his letter was the idea of making an equestrian monument for the Dukes illustrious father Francesco Sforza this was a project that had actually been first given to one of the polio low brothers and here we see the polio load design for the sports equestrian monument and this was to be probably made out of bronze although it's not entirely certain and this project was never completed by the polio low and so when Leonardo was writing his letter he says specifically I can carry out this project because he knows that this is a priority of the Duke what it illustrates is that a work of art wasn't necessarily linked exclusively to the artists who thought it up but that it existed as an idea as a project for a patron and that various different artists could claim to execute the project or say that they wanted to finish it and so here we see Paulo Lola's drawing and then Leonardo's early drawing for the same project as this and you can see that basically it is the same design that pillai you although had but in a slightly more Leonardo more energetic kind of style