LEONARDO da Vinci
(b. 1452, Vinci, d. 1519, Cloux, near Amboise)
Assault chariot with scythesc. 1485
Silverpoint, pen and ink on paper, 210 x 292 mm
Biblioteca Reale, Turin
The careful composition of the page suggests that Leonardo intended to present it to someone. It is possible that it was included in the letter of introduction to Ludovico il Moro, to whom Leonardo described himself as being mainly a military engineer and military architect. The page is convincing not so much as a result of the technical solutions of the chariot as by the envisualization of their effect. It is uncertain whether the actual technology sketched here was Leonardo's own invention. He would undoubtedly have been familiar with such classical chariots, fitted with scythes, from treatises.