Leonado's birth placeLeonardo di ser Piero da Vinci is born in the Vinci region. History will remember him as one of the greatest painters of all-time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.
The equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni in VeniceLeonardo di ser Piero da Vinci is born in the Vinci region. History will remember him as one of the greatest painters of all-time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.
Guild of St. Luke logoAt just 20 years old, Leonardo is accepted as a master in the Guild of St. Luke, the prestigious Florentine guild of artists and doctors. He soon has his own workshop, but continues to collaborate on projects with his old master, Verrocchio.
Leonardo enjoys decades of remarkable professional achievement and successful patronage by some of the most powerful families in northern Italy, including the ruling Medicis and Sforzas. A perfectionist with nearly limitless talent, he conceptualizes inventions centuries ahead of their time, such as the helicopter, airplane, tank and the basics of internal combustion.

Among his most famous paintings from this time are The Adoration of the Magi and The Last Supper. Leonardo also fills more than 13,000 notebook pages with conceptual sketches on everything from anatomy to shoes for walking on water.

The Second Italian WarThe Second Italian War begins as French troops invade what is now northern Italy and rapidly gain ground. Leonardo’s Milanese patron is overthrown. Leonardo flees Milan.
The Mona LisaNow in Venice, Leonardo’s highly advanced defense designs help protect the city from naval invasion. His military engineering services become in demand across northern Italy. During this time, he also completes Mona Lisa, the most famous painting in the world.

Bronze equestrian statueNow 55 years old, Leonardo accepts an invitation to return to Milan. He reconnects with old pupils and colleagues, leaving only briefly to settle his father’s estate.
Leonardo's Horse and RiderCharles d’Amboise, French governor of MilanFrom a block of beeswax, Leonardo da Vinci creates a model of a horse and rider in full military regalia. The work is thought to be the model for a much larger monument to Leonardo’s friend and patron Charles d’Amboise, French governor of Milan.
{May 2, 1519}
Leonardo dies in Amboise, France. It is believed that King Francois I was at Leonardo’s bedside at death. Original wax model of “Horse and Rider” is inherited by Leonardo’s close friend, Francesco Melzi.
{1519 – circa 1930s}
Francesco Melzi“Horse and Rider” remains in the possession of Count Francesco Melzi and his descendants in Italy. So far as can be ascertained, no attempts to copy or in any way complete Leonardo’s beeswax model in bronze are ever made.

After Leonardo’s death in 1519 his friend and protégé Francesco Melzi inherited all of drawings, manuscripts and unfinished works and took them back to the family estate in Milan. When in the Sangiorgi Collection in Rome in the early 1900s, Leonardo’s wax model was formerly recorded as part of the Melzi de Cusano Family in Milan.

{Pre-World War II}
“Horse and Rider” remains in a private collection in Italy until being sent to Switzerland for safe keeping, prior to the outbreak of World War II.
Queen's BookQueen's BookProfessor Carlo Pedretti, the words foremost authority on the life and works of Leonardo Da Vinci, takes black & white photos of Leonardo’s beeswax sculpture, some of which will appear in the Queen’s Collection Catalogue Raisonné of Leonardo drawings when “Horse and Rider” is added to it in 1987.

The photos reveal damage to the rider and horse, as well as general deterioration. Almost 500 years since its creation, time has taken a toll on the original beeswax art. The sculpture is missing the hands and feet of the rider as well as one leg and the ears of the horse. The beeswax is rapidly deteriorating.

Mallett at Bourdon HouseProfessor Pedretti introduces the beeswax sculpture to David G.F. Nickerson, director of Mallett at Bourdon House in London, and urges him to acquire the sculptural work. Established in 1865, Mallett and Sons, Fine Furniture and Decorative Art Dealer, is rumored to have the financial backing of Queen Elizabeth.
Mold #1 of Leonardo Da Vinci's Horse and RiderMold #2 of Leonardo Da Vinci's Horse and RiderA latex mold is made of the 500 year-old beeswax model to preserve the integrity of Leonardo’s masterpiece.
“Horse and Rider” is officially catalogued in the Queens Collection at Windsor Castle, complete with photos and partial sketches. The Catalogue Raisonné entry reads, in part, “Horse and Rider Queens Collection at Windsor Castle… Fragmentary wax statuette in a private collection in London, formerly in the Sangiorgi Collection in Rome, said to have come from the Melzi estate at Vaprio d’ Adda, Italy.”
Lewis, together with a team of artisans, Leonardo historians and craftsman casts the original ‘Horse and Rider’ bronze sculpture directly from the mold of Leonardo’s 500 year old beeswax model, thereby bringing to fruition Leonardo’s dream.
{May 2012}
Carlo Pedretti“Perfect, perfect, perfect!” – Professor Carlo Pedretti, the world’s leading Leonardo da Vinci expert, upon examining the original sculpture cast directly from the mold.