Battle of Anghiari
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|Battle of Anghiari|
Peter Paul Rubens's copy of Leonardo da Vinci's The Battle of Anghiari. Allegedly from left to right is Francesco Piccinino; Niccolò Piccinino; Ludovico Trevisan; Giovanni Antonio del Balzo Orsini
Republic of Florence
Republic of Venice
|Duchy of Milan|
|Commanders and leaders|
Giovanni Antonio del Balzo Orsini
The League's army concentrated on Anghiari, a small centre of Tuscany, and comprised: 4,000 Papal troops, under Cardinal Ludovico Trevisan; a Florentine contingent of around the same size, and a company of 300 men-at-arms (knights) from Venice, led by Micheletto Attendolo. Other men joined for the occasion from Anghiari itself.
The numerically superior Milanese force was led by the famous condottiero Niccolò Piccinino in the name of Duke Filippo Maria Visconti and reached the area on the night of 28 June. Some 2,000 men from the nearby town of Sansepolcro joined the Milanese. Confident in his superior manpower, and on the element of surprise Piccinino ordered an attack in the afternoon of the following day. However, the dust lifted by the Milanese on the Sansepolcro-Anghiari road was noticed by Micheletto and the League's forces were made ready for battle.
Micheletto's Venetian knights blocked the Milanese vanguard on the only bridge over the channel protecting the League's camp. Micheletto and the Venetians held the bridge allowing the greater part of the League's army to form for battle but were eventually pushed back by Milanese reinforcements led by the two captains Francesco Piccinino and Astorre II Manfredi. The Milanese advanced but their right flank was soon ferociously engaged by the Papal troops and were obliged to retreat to the bridge. The battle continued for four hours, until a surrounding manoeuvre managed to cut off a third of the Milanese on the League side of the channel. The battle continued into the night but ended with a victory for the League army.
More than seven decades later, the battle was the subject of a now-lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci, known through copies made by other artists.
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