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it is connected with more serious documents. According to M. Georges Duplessis, the learned Keeper of the Prints in the Louvre, the lithograph in question is a reproduction of an inferior picture which M. Duplessis saw in the London National Gallery in 1862. More recently, the much regretted Charles Timbal purchased an old painting representing the celebrated group of men on horseback, differing in some striking points from the Rubens drawing. This picture, which has been engraved by M. Haussoullier, adds some valuable details to those we have in the said drawing. In the first place, the types agree with those of Leonardo. In the second, it enables us to identify several of the studies in the Pesth Museum, to which we shall refer presently.
These indispensable preliminaries over, let us study Leonardo's work, as far as written documents and pictorial evidence enable us to reconstruct it.
A battle may be represented in two ways. The first necessitates looking at it from the strategic, the anecdotic, or the picturesque point of view (the tapestries representing the History of the Conquest of Tunis, the Destruction of the Armada ; Vasari's paintings in the Palazzo Vecchio at Florence, of the battles fought and cities taken by Cosimo de' Medici). In this case all the undulations of the ground, the positions occupied by the various bodies of troops, and the numberless incidents of the fray, are made to appear. The second method—that of Raphael, of Salvator Rosa, of Le Brun, and Gros, and Meissonier-consists in sacrificing all unimportant details, and concentrating attention on a very few characteristic episodes, sometimes even on a single one. In this case, the selected subject generally implies honour ascribed to the general in command, who appears in the character of “deus ex machinâ ” to decide the struggle.
This plan, the only one worthy of a historical painter, allows the · artist to substitute a small number of actors—who in their own persons sum up all the heat of " like passion or the joy of triumph--for large impersonal masses.
Leonardo had but few models to guide him, and all were of too archaic a character to be of any real service. The first of these in chronological sequence were the battlepieces of Paolo Ucello, with tlieis amusing and often comic details ; armour-laden knights