Leonardo da Vinci, the grand master of the Italian Renaissance, was commanded by Ludovico Sforza of Milan to create the world's largest statue, a work which was to depict General Francesco Sforza mounted on horseback. By November of 1493, Leonardo had completed a clay model of the horse alone which measured 7.2 meters in height. Unfortunately, war interrupted his work at that point: the planned bronze casting was discontinued, and the clay model was destroyed.
The reconstruction of the "phantom statue" began with the construction of a two meter clay model, based upon the study by Prof. Tanaka of the Madrid manuscripts, discovered in 1967, as well as a number of preparatory sketches. This model was enlarged using computer technology, and the final version of the statue was molded in plastic (FRP), as the legs would not be able to support the weight of a bronze casting. It is the only of its kind in the world, brought into existence at last by Japanese research and technology.