In Leonardo's time, cannons were mostly employed in sieges, both because of their heavy weight and because it took too much time to load them. For these reasons, they turned out to be of little use on the battlefield, where the troops moved fast. Leonardo made some alterations, which were to improve their accuracy and rate of fire. This model shows a different specimen of light artillery: the gun carriage is easy to handle and it has three front-load guns. To improve firing accuracy, the three guns can be adjusted in height by means of a peg mechanism.
The model is based on the drawing:
- Codex Atlanticus f. 929a r. (1487)
Milano, Biblioteca Ambrosiana