Allegory of Boat, Wolf, and Eagle - by Leonardo da Vinci

Allegory of Boat, Wolf, and Eagle, sails toward a globe surmounted by a crowned eagle. The drawing, which is at Windsor, was probably made for the wedding of Giuliano de Medici to Philiberta of Savoy. It is another example of Leonardo's taste for the fantastic, which he never lost despite the strong rational core of his temperament.

The extraodinary symbolism of the picture might also refers to the wolf as the Church, which is in charge of the boat with its living tree and compass. Does it suggest that the wolf - a rather negative image for the Church - is given too much direction over the life of man? The Pope and German Emperor were rivals for power at this time, and in Italy the great families and political leaders were divided between two. The shinning eagle may suggest that the Emperor is a leading light in the world. And why is the Church sailing towards the land and what is, presumably, the German Empire? Either way, it is not difficult to second guess where Leonardo's own sympathies lay.