Tavola Doria

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tavola Doria (Leonardo da Vinci)
Tavola Doria
Leonardo da Vinci , 1503-1505
Oil on poplar wood
86 × 115 cm
Uffizi Inv. 1890, n ° 5376

The Tavola Doria is a panel painting on poplar wood (dimensions: 86 × 115 cm), named after the Doria family , to whose Genoese collections it belonged between around 1617 and 1832. It was then owned by Doria d'Angri in Naples until it was auctioned in 1940 . Provenance and author of the painting had been largely forgotten since the late 19th century and long controversial, and even today it is mistakenly classified as a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's mural of the “ Battle of Anghiari ” in Palazzo Vecchio , as was the case with the Bonn dissertation in 1935 the art historian Maria Lessing (1905–1961) found its way into art historical literature.


Carlo Pedretti published the painting in 1968 under the current name as a copy of Raphael's after Leonardo's mural, but revised this opinion and authenticated it in 1971 as "done by Leonardo". In 1989 he pointed out that the top of the two foot soldiers did not (as is usually assumed) wield a dagger, but wanted to defeat his opponent with the buttock of his right hand.

Several painted and drawn depictions of the battle for the flag are also referred to as copies of Leonardo's mural (including Martin Kemp , Edoardo Villata, Frank Zöllner ). This includes the well-known panel painting with the “Battle for the Flag”, which has been in the Uffizi Gallery since 1635 (Inv. 1890, n ° 5376); although Pedretti had already come to the realization in 1977 that the copy in the Uffizi (since 1953 on loan at the Palazzo Vecchio ) was not based on Leonardo's wall painting, but on the Tavola Doria.

Maurizio Seracini proved in 1975 with the help of scientific methods that the panel of the Uffizi was not feasible before 1600, i.e. for this reason alone it could not be a copy after the mural . He also noted that the well-known hand drawing Uffizi N ° 14591F is handwritten and dated “1553”, so it cannot be traced back to the mural for reasons of chronology.

Pedretti withdrew more and more from his attribution to Leonardo after 1989, but never gave up his opinion, first published in 1968, that remnants of Leonardo's wall paintings are still under Vasari's frescoes. Building on Pedretti's opinion, Maurizio Seracini spent more than 35 years looking for suspected residues with great equipment and financial expense, but came to no conclusion because he assumed false assumptions when interpreting and assigning sources: the cerca trova by no means means one Vasari's request to the viewer behind his fresco in the Salone dei Cinquecento to look for Leonardo's lost painting - it is rather a custom of the Medicean troops to imprint their flags on their flags. Even the text from 1549, often invoked by Pedretti in 2012, in which Anton Francesco Doni speaks of the “groppo de 'cavalli”, does not refer to a mural, but to the Tavola Doria. Maurizio Seracini started the last investigations in the Salone at the beginning of December 2011. Until the turn of the year 2012/2013, no evidence of the existence of remnants of the mural was found.

Friedrich Piel has been dealing with the Tavola Doria since 1978 (continuously authorized by the changing owners until 2009). Pedretti's results were an essential basis for his authentication, but he also succeeded in identifying the painting as Leonardo's “groppo de 'Cavalli”. Thorough source studies led him to the conviction that the Tavola Doria is identical to the "disegnio di detto cartone" mentioned in the contract that the Republic of Florence concluded with Leonardo on May 4, 1504, and that it is also known to the painter as Modello served for his mural depicting the Battle of Anghiari .

The fact that its central motif, the fight for the flag, could never be translated into the metric dimensions of the mural, results from the short time in which Leonardo actually worked on the mural (July 6 to October 1505), but also from the modest time Total fee that the painter received for his work between October 1503 and the end of 1505. Maria Lessing had already reconstructed a seldom noticed elementary date in 1934: For Leonardo's “Battle for the Flag” dimensions of such size were planned in the planned mural that the talk of “copies of Leonardo's mural”, which has been rumored continuously since 1935, has no objective foundation: Battle for the flag ”(also subject of Tavola Doria ) would have taken up approx. 4 × 7 m in the mural, ie 28 m². The dimensions of the “groppo” were reconstructed by Maria Lessing as early as 1934: “The head of the screaming warrior in Oxford offers a clue for determining the size of the“ fight for the flag ”on the wall, [...] because [...] ] the proportion of the traditional group as life-size results from this. So we have to imagine the four rearing horses with their riders at a length of about seven meters and a height of four meters. ”Maria Lessing: The Anghiari battle of Leonardo da Vinci. Diss. Bonn 1935. The mural was not feasible in these dimensions between July and October 1505 and never - as documented in 1514 - grew beyond about six square meters. The result of his short-term work between June and October 1505 was, as Piero Soderini , major banner bearer of the Republic of Florence, lamented in 1506, nothing more than a "piccolo principio a un gran lavoro" - a small beginning of a great work.

On the basis of extensive research into sources, Piel identified the Tavola Doria as the groppo de cavalli that Anton Francesco Doni praised in his Disegno (1549) as "una cosa miraculosa". But this bridges the gap to the "groppo de Cavalli di Leonardo da Vinci", under which name the Tavola Doria is documented in the will of Marc Antonio Doria from 1651.

At Piel's instigation, the painting was scientifically analyzed in 1984 ( Hermann Kühn ) and systematically examined with the help of imaging processes (macro photos, X-rays, infrared reflectographies). If the pentimenti , fingerprints and preliminary drawings discovered by Piel exclude the possibility of the painting being made as a copy, the originality is also proven by the miniature painting technique, the specific painting strategy and a number of iconic elements that were not recognized by the copyists . Three of these pictorial elements specific to Leonardo should be mentioned: a rider's pistol, the shape of the epaulettes of the standard bearer as octopods and a small skull in the center of the composition.

In 2008 the painting was examined by the Münster art historian Jürg Meyer zur Capellen and Claudio Falcucci , an Italian expert in the scientific analysis of old paintings. While Meyer zur Capellen Piel's research results expressis verbis largely confirmed Falcucci has apparently taken no notice of it.


After 1506, the Tavola Doria remained in the possession of the Repubblica Fiorentina, as the contract of May 4, 1504 had provided for, which Piel commented in detail in 1994 and 1995. The painting is mentioned several times in written sources from the sixteenth century, for example as "li cavalli" in Albertini in 1510, as "groppo de Cavalli" in Doni in 1549, and in 1550 in the Vita of Leonardo in Giorgio Vasari's biography .

From the possession of Don Antonio de Medici , the tablet came into the possession of the Doria family in Genoa after 1600 , in whose archives it was named “groppo de Cavalli di Leonardo da Vinci” analogously to Doni 1549 and Vasari 1550. In 1832 it came to the Palazzo Doria d'Angri in Naples, at whose auction it was auctioned in 1940 as the work of an anonymous Tuscan master, as it was cataloged in the great Mostra di Leonardo da Vinci in 1939 and notified as nationally valuable in Capodimonte that same year had been.

At the auction, the painting was sold to the Marchese Giovan Niccolò de Ferrari, from whose possession it was legally transferred to the art dealer Antonio Fasciani in Locarno after 1948. In 1962 it was acquired by the Munich art dealer Georg Hoffmann (“Interkunst” gallery). The restoration of the painting, which was in a desolate condition in Milan's Mostra di Leonardo da Vinci as early as 1939, was started around 1964 by an Italian restorer nicknamed the "Man with the Sharp Knife", Hoffmann from the art dealer Lodi (Campione d'Italia) had been recommended. An essential prerequisite for the later attribution to Leonardo was that the painting reached the custody of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen in good time , where it was professionally preserved under the direction of chief curator Leo Cremer .

After Georg Hoffmann's death in 1970, the Tavola Doria was loaned by the Bansa-Bank Munich and came into their bankruptcy estate. Between 1972 and 1987 she was on commission at the Wildenstein Gallery New York. Here it was offered as a work by Leonardo, referring to the positive comments from Pedretti, Kenneth Clark and Federigo Zeri. One of the collectors interested in buying was Armand Hammer , whose bid of US $ 3 million did not meet Wlldenstein's expectations.

In 1987 it was acquired by the Munich investor group BHB from the bankruptcy estate of Bansa-Bank. Friedrich Piel, who in 1978 was given concrete access to research into the painting through Georg Hoffmann's lawyer, Franz Novak, published the first summary of his research results in the magazine Pantheon in 1989 . Due to his identification, the painting was acquired in 1992 by the Tokyo art dealer Toshiro J. Akiyama ("Toshi International") and sold to the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum . The museum had already decided in 1997 to sell the painting again, which remained inaccessible to the professional world as an absolute depot object until 2007. The resale, which Akiyama was entrusted with in 1997, dragged on until 2011 and led to a lot of negotiations, but no result. It is unclear what contributed to the Soka Gakkai's decision to donate the property to the Italian state in 2012 ; it was by no means the concern of the Japanese owners that it could be confiscated by the Italian state. A contract was signed about the modalities of the gift, according to which the Tavola Doria was shown for the first two years in Italy and then for four years in Japan.

Since the Tavola Doria came into the possession of the Italian state in mid-2012, it has been checked for authenticity as claimed by Piel in the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence using the latest methods and with the help of current scientific procedures. Between November 27, 2012 and January 13, 2013, the painting was presented in the Quirinal Palace in Rome and thus exhibited to the public for the first time in its history. Between June 15 and November 3, 2013 the painting was on view in the Museo Taglieschi in Anghiari , a state museum in the association of the Polo Museale Fiorentino. From December 10th to the end of February the painting was in the Machiavell exhibition in the Biblioteca Nazionale , and from the end of March to the end of June in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, its location after the exhibition in the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum .

More works of the motif

Peter Paul Rubens Battle of Anghiari , around 1603
  • Hand drawing in the cabinet of the design of the Louvre, copy of the 16th century (?) Based on the remains of Leonardo's cardboard, allegedly revised by Peter Paul Rubens (around 1603?).
  • Copper engraving by the painter and draftsman Lorenzo Zacchia from Lucca, dated 1558, unique in the Albertina graphic collection in Vienna.


  • Leonardo da Vinci. Sulle tracce della Battglia di Anghiari . Museo di Palazzo Vecchio Florence. February 23, 2019 - January 12, 2020.


  • Carlo Pedretti : La Battaglia di Anghiari di Leonardo. In: L'Arte. I (1968), pp. 62-73.
  • Carlo Pedretti: Leonardo da Vinci inedito. Firenze 1968.
In it: II: Nuovi Documenti riguardanti la “Battaglia d'Anghiari” (53–78), III: La “Tavola Doria” (79–86).
  • Carlo Pedretti: Leonardo: A Study in Chronology and Style. London, Berkeley, Los Angeles 1973.
  • Carlo Pedretti: The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci. Compiled and edited from the Original Manuscripts by Jean Paul Richter. A Commentary. 2 vols. Berkeley, Los Angeles 1977.
  • Carlo Pedretti: The Cut-throat finger. In: Achademia Leonardi Vinci. 1. 1988. pp. 87 f.
  • Friedrich Piel : The Tavola Doria - Modello Leonardos for the Anghiarischlacht . In: Pantheon 47, 1989. pp. 83-97.
  • Friedrich Piel: Leonardos Disegnio of the Anghiarischlacht. Materials and documents for the Tavola Doria. Falkenberg: Mäander 1994. ISBN 3-88219-401-4
  • Friedrich Piel: Tavola Doria. Leonardo da Vinci's Modello for his wall painting Anghiari Battle . Falkenberg: Mäander 1995. ISBN 3-88219-411-1 . (A publication by the University of Salzburg ).
  • Carlo Pedretti (Ed.): La Mente di Leonardo. Al tempo della “Battaglia di Anghiari” (1504–1508). Firenze 2006.
  • Friedrich Piel: Tavola Doria. Attributed and identified as Leonardo's "Groppo de Cavalli". Private printing 2007.
  • Louis Godart : Sulle tracce di Leonardo e della "Battaglia di Anghiari" attraverso uno straordinario Ritrovamento. Milano 2012.
  • Louis Godart (Ed.): Tavola Doria. The rientro dio un grande capolavoro. Exhibition at the Palazzo del Quirinale November 27, 2012 - January 13, 2013. Roma 2012. ISBN 978-88-492-2507-5
  • Jürgen Hohmeyer: The great battle. In: Weltkunst. Vol. 69 February 2013. ISSN  0043-261X , pp. 36-41.
  • Friedrich Piel: Tavola Doria. Identified as Leonardo's "Groppo de Cavalli". A summary. Falkenberg: Mäander 2013. ISBN 978-3-88219-431-9

Individual evidence

  1. Viviana Farina: Giovan Carlo Doria. Promotore delle arti a Genova nel Primo Seicento. Firenze 2002, ISBN 88-7970-121-5 .
  2. ^ Pedretti Carlo: La Battaglia di Anghiari. In: L'Arte. l (1968), pp. 62-73.
  3. ^ Pedretti Carlo: The cut-throat finger. In: Achademia Leonardi Vinci. I (1988), pp. 87-88.
  4. Uffizi: ultima occasione per ammirare la Tavola Doria, poi se ne riparlerà tra 4 anno of March 25, 2014 (Italian, daringtodo.com) accessed on March 27, 2014
  5. ^ Pedretti Carlo: The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci. Compiled and edited from the Original Manuscripts by Jean Paul Richter. A Commentary. 2 vol., Los Angeles 1977.
  6. ^ Pedretti Carlo: Leonardo da Vinci inedito. Tre saggi. Firenze 1968
  7. Federico Giannini: Ancora sulla battaglia di Anghiari: la bufala del 'Cerca trova' Finestre sull 'Arte, August 7, 2012, accessed on May 17, 2019
  8. On the situation at the end of 2012 cf. Louis Godart: La Tavola Doria. Milano 2012, pp. 128–151.
  9. The world: traces of Leonardo's battle paintings discovered
  10. ^ Piel 1986.
  11. Federico Giannini: Ancora sulla battaglia di Anghiari: la bufala del 'Cerca trova' Finestre sull 'Arte, August 7, 2012, accessed on May 17, 2019
  12. cf. Piel: Leonardos Disegnio of the Anghiari battle. 1994 and Piel: Leonardo da Vinci's Modello. 1995 on his mural of the battle of Anghiari .
  13. ^ Piel 1995, ISBN 3-88219-411-1 .
  14. ^ Friedrich Piel: The Tavola Doria. Modello Leonardos for the Anghiari battle. In: Pantheon. 47, 1989. pp. 83-97.
  15. Death struggle on the edge . In: Der Spiegel . Vol. 49, 1995. No. 31, of July 31, 1995.
  16. ^ First published by Piel in 1989.
  17. Jürg Meyer zur Capellen, Claudio Falcucci: Tavola Doria. Notice of dipinto nascosto . In: Kermes. Rivista per il restauro. No. 83. Firenze 2011.
  18. [on this cf. Meyer zur Capellen].
  19. cf. Viviana Farina 2002
  20. Francesca Romana Morelli. In: Il Giornale dell'Arte numero 327, gennaio 2013. Accordo internazionale per la «Tavola Doria»
  21. ^ Tokyo Fuji Art Museum
  22. Press release from Palazzo Vecchio arte.it, accessed on May 13, 2019