Studies for the Battle of Cascina
by MICHELANGELO

In the autumn of 1504 Michelangelo was given the commission to paint a battle scene for the Palazzo della Signoria as a companion piece to Leonardo's Battle of Anghiari. This grand project came to nothing: the cartoon was finished - at least in part - by February 1505, but the urgent summons from Pope Julius II prevented Michelangelo from continuing with the work, for which only some drawings survived.

The drafts for the Battle of Cascina wall fresco, for which Michelangelo progressed only as far as the cartoon (no longer extant), mark a highlight in his early graphic works. Contemporaries admired the complexity of the bathing soldiers' movements, the unheard-of degree of foreshortening, the monumentality of the figures, and the anatomical correctness of the bodies. The studies for the composition are indicative of a stylistic change: while earlier figures were primarily seen in frontal view, these figures are depicted in many and diverse rotational movements as they explore the space around them in every direction. In order to underscore this aspect, the artist began using a different, more suitable drawing material, the black chalk.

Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Battle of Cascina (central section)
1505
Oil on panel, 77 x 130 cm
Holkham Hall, Norfolk

1400*828
True Color
245 Kb



Battle Scene
1504
Pen and ink on paper, 179 x 251 mm
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

1100*778
Grayscale
127 Kb



Study for the Battle of Cascina
c. 1504
Pencil and silverpoint on paper, 235 x 356 mm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

1159*600
True Color
126 Kb



Figure Studies (verso)
1503-04
Black chalk, 258 x 153 mm
Musйe du Louvre, Paris

900*538
True Color
77 Kb



Standing Male Nude, Seen from the Rear (recto)
c. 1503
Pen and brown ink, 387 x 195 mm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

570*1100
True Color
106 Kb



Male Nude, Seen from the Rear (recto)
1503-04
Black chalk, pen and brown ink, 260 x 170 mm
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

614*900
True Color
86 Kb



Nude Rider Mounting a Horse and a Male Nude (verso)
1503-04
Black chalk, 260 x 170 mm
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

614*900
True Color
85 Kb



Male Nude, Seen from the Rear
1503-04
Pen and brown ink, 409 x 285 mm
Casa Buonarroti, Florence

831*1200
True Color
126 Kb



Group of Three Male Nudes (recto)
1503-04
Black chalk over drawing in stylus, 332 x 174 mm
Musйe du Louvre, Paris

545*1000
True Color
99 Kb



Studies of Nudes (verso)
1503-04
Pen and brown ink, black chalk, 332 x 174 mm
Musйe du Louvre, Paris

1000*562
True Color
105 Kb



Male Nude, Seen from the Rear (recto)
1503-04
Black chalk, 218 x 174 mm
Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge

566*700
True Color
71 Kb



Male Nude, Seen from the Rear (recto)
1503-04
Black pencil, 282 x 203 mm
Musйe du Louvre, Paris

700*977
True Color
129 Kb



Two Nude Studies (recto)
c. 1504
Pen and brown ink over drawing in black chalk, 270 x 196 mm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

665*900
True Color
96 Kb



Male Nude, Seen from the Rear (verso)
c. 1504
Black chalk, heightened with white, 270 x 196 mm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

900*671
True Color
85 Kb



Seven Studies of a Raised Arm with Shoulder Joint
c. 1504
Pen and brown ink, black chalk, 226 x 315 mm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

900*660
True Color
87 Kb



Sitting Male Nude (recto)
c. 1504
Pen and brown ink, gray-brown wash, heightened in white, over drawing in stylus, 420 x 285 mm
British Museum, London

831*1200
True Color
136 Kb



Male Nude, Seen from the Right (recto)
c. 1504
Black chalk, heightened with white, 405 x 225 mm
Teylers Museum, Haarlem

690*1200
True Color
120 Kb



Study of a Male Nude (recto)
c. 1504
Black chalk, partial white heightening, 404 x 260 mm
Teylers Museum, Haarlem

779*1200
True Color
119 Kb



Kneeling Male Nude
-
Black chalk on paper
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

700*1148
True Color
120 Kb



Three Studies of a Leg
-
Pen and ink on paper
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

1021*1000
True Color
157 Kb



Nude Man Turned to the Right
1510-11
Chalk, 250 x 96 mm
Musйe du Louvre, Paris

394*980
Grayscale
86 Kb



Helmeted Head of a Youth, and Other Studies (recto)
1503-04
Pen and brown ink, black pencil, 205 x 253 mm
Kunsthalle, Hamburg

833*700
True Color
110 Kb



Bust of a Warrior, and a Head in Profile
1503-04
Pen and brown ink, 139 x 115 mm
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

500*600
True Color
55 Kb



Galloping Rider, a Horse, and Other Studies
1503-04
Pen and brown ink, black chalk, leadpoint, 190 x 260 mm
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

788*600
True Color
72 Kb



Horse with Two Riders (recto)
1508-09
Black chalk, 222 x 198 mm
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

617*700
True Color
49 Kb




Summary of works by Michelangelo
Sculptures | Paintings | Sistine Chapel | Drawings | Architecture
Drawings
Early drawings | Studies for the Battle of Cascina | Studies for sculptures
Studies for the Sistine Chapel | Studies for the Medici tombs
Studies for Madonna and Child | Studies for Crucifixion scenes
Gifts to Cavalieri | Drafts for other painters | Various drawings