Title: The Taking of Pisa
Date: late 1460s
Medium: Tempera and gold leaf on poplar panel
61.5 x 205.7 cm
Credit Line: Bequeathed, Sir Hugh Lane, 1918
Object Number: NGI.780
DescriptionThese two decorative panels (NGI.778 & NGI.780) illustrate famous Florentine victories. The defeat of the Milanese army on the river Tiber, near Anghiari, on 29 June 1440, made Florence the rulers of Tuscany. This is the earliest depiction of the battle and may have influenced Leonardo da Vinci’s lost fresco in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

The siege of Pisa lasted eight months and ended on 9 october 1406. the Florentines entered the city with bread on their lances for the starving inhabitants, as seen being prepared in the foreground of the painting. the unknown artist captures both the pageantry and brutality of Renaissance war and carefully identifies the various towns, even including the famous ‘leaning’ Tower of Pisa. The scenes not only celebrate two key Florentine victories against neighbouring powers but they also pay tribute to members of the Capponi family, who contributed on both occasions to the success of the city’s cause, and for whom these panels may have been painted.
ProvenanceCollection Charles Butler, Esq.; bequeathed, Sir Hugh Lane, 1918
Exhibition HistoryWorks by Old Masters, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1894

Pictures by Old Masters Given and Bequeathed to the National Gallery of Ireland by the Late Sir Hugh Lane, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 1918

Centenary Exhibition, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, October - December 1964

The Architecture of Ireland in Drawings & Paintings, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 1975

Leonardo da Vinci and Battle of Anghiari, Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, May - August 2015

Leonardo da Vinci and Battle of Anghiari, Museum of Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan, August - November 2015
Label TextThis is one of a pair of painted panels, by an unknown artist, that illustrate famous Florentine military victories of the fifteenth century. This panel depicts the Florentines besieging the Tuscan city of Pisa in 1406. The scene can be read from left to right, with Florence visible in the distance at left and Pisa, with its distinctive leaning tower, to the right. The siege lasted eight months, and many people died of starvation. The artist shows the Florentines entering the walled city after the surrender; the soldiers carried bread, skewered on their lances, to feed the starving citizens.

This website uses cookies

We use optional cookies to enhance your user experience and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services.


About Cookies

Cookies are small text files that can be used by websites to make a user's experience more efficient. The law states that we can store cookies on your device if they are strictly necessary for the operation of this site. For all other types of cookies we need your permission. This site uses different types of cookies. Some cookies are placed by third party services that appear on our pages. You can at any time change or withdraw your consent from the Cookie Declaration on our website. Learn more about who we are, how you can contact us and how we process personal data in our Privacy Policy. Please state your consent ID and date when you contact us regarding your consent.

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

JSESSIONIDeMuseumUser SessionSessionHTTP

Statistics Cookies

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

_gaGoogle Tag ManagerRegisters a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.2 yearsJavaScript
_gidGoogle Tag ManagerRegisters a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.1 dayJavaScript