Battle of Anghiari
After the fall of the Medici family in Florence, the Republic built the “Sala del Gran Consiglio” (Chamber of the Great Council) between the years 1494 and 1498. Two of the greatest artists of that time, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, were entrusted with the pictorial realization of this room.
Leonardo was instructed to paint the glorious victory of the Florentines over the Milanese that occurred in Anghiari in 1440, while Michelangelo had to represent the defeat of the Pisans in Cascina in 1346.
None of them finished the job. Leonardo did not use the traditional fresco technique to represent the battle. Instead, tried to use a technique called encaustic painting, first invented by Plinio, which was to be dried warm. However, it gave him many problems.
When the master left Florence to reach Milan, he had only painted the central part of the composition. Today there is no trace of the unfinished work of the great artist, but it has been supposed that Giorgio Vasari, who was commissioned the renovation of the room afterwards, built a blind area in the wall in order to hide and protect the work of Leonardo.