UCCELLO, Paolo
(b. 1397, Firenze, d. 1475, Firenze)

Bernardino della Ciarda Thrown Off His Horse

1450s
Tempera on wood, 182 x 220 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

This is the central panel of the three paintings representing the battle won by Florence against Siena allied with Visconti, the ruling family of Milan. It took place on June 1st 1432 in San Romano, half way between Florence and Pisa. The picture shows the conclusive combat between the captains of the two armies: Niccolò da Tolentino unseating Bernardino della Ciarda.

Uccello's obsession with displaying his mastery of perspective (such as the long white and red lances or the exceptional horses that have rolled over on the ground) and the dramatic nature of the clash between the knights combine with his almost magical story telling. This is underpinned by the use of unreal colours and light as if describing some fabulous tale of chivalrous adventure.