Battle of San Romano

Battle of San Romano

Artist Paolo Uccello

Date ca. 1438

Movement Italian Renaissance

Medium Tempera and silver foil on wood panel

Dimensions 6′ x 10’5.75″

Housed at The National Gallery, London


This work was commissioned by Lionardo Bartolini Salimbeni. This battle was of crucial import to the Medici family, and members eventually stole it from the original owners. Uccello places Niccolò da Tolentino at the center of the battle scene, standing out brilliantly upon his white horse; soldiers advance toward each other upon a neatly arranged grid of weapons and even a fallen soldier; a thick brush behind them breaks the space, and distant hills rise sharply up the canvas instead of receding gently into the background.