Rearing horse - by Leonardo da Vinci

A man of his time, Leonardo liked to ride, and he happily spent many hours during his stays in Milan and in Rome on horses obtained from the stables of the Sforzas and the Pope. He looked upon a horse as a super-natural animal. He had read enough of the classics to know that in mythology the horse had been the mount of the gods, and he saw man on horseback as man made divine, a superman.

As soon as he had been commissioned to do the monument to Francesco Sforza, he immersed himself in a study of horses: he wanted to know all about their anatomy, movements, moods, peculiarities, fears and whims before he embarked on his project.