Niccolò Mauruzi da Tolentino at the Battle of San Romano

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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It’s hard to follow what’s going on in this large and busy painting, partly because it’s much darker now than when it was painted. This is one of three battle scenes by Uccello showing the Florentine victory at San Romano in 1432.

The Florentine commander, Niccolò da Tolentino, rides a white charger and wears a magnificent red and gold hat. He leads a cavalry charge from the left, while at the right a knight on a white horse fights off three others.

Uccello was intensely interested in linear perspective – using lines to create an impression of three-dimensional space within a painting – which was a relatively recent discovery. Here he is clearly experimenting: the broken lances in the foreground make a formal grid-like pattern, and scattered pieces of armour are shown at various angles.

The National Gallery, London



Niccolò Mauruzi da Tolentino at the Battle of San Romano


probably about 1438-40


egg tempera with walnut oil and linseed oil on poplar


H 182 x W 320 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1857

Work type



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