It is no mere coincidence that the most significant graphic depiction of the Battle of Anghiari is a 17th century work by a Flemish artist named Edelinck. The numerous commissions for reproductions of the Battle meant that painters needed models on which to base their own interpretations of it – a need that undoubtedly contributed to the popularity of Leonardo’scomposition. In this instance it was the indirect source of inspiration for Nomi’spoem, providing a kind of figurative setting for the literary composition known as the Catorcio di Anghiari (1683–5), coming between the reader and the description of the site as though the Arts were eager to help in highlighting the historical event.
“Anghiari sits in part atop a mountain
and in part itlies in a ravine.
The mountain stands proudly enthroned
While the ravine appears to lie mute.
The mountain is girt about with walls, while men
Stand ready to serve as walls for the ravine,
And thanks to certains kilfully constructed ditches
The Fortress encompasse sboth one part and the other”