In the Battle of Volterra (1472), Federico’s swift victory (achieved in twenty-two days, avoiding a lengthy siege of one of the most strongly fortified Tuscan cities) resulted from the duke’s skillful interpretation of the daunting landscape surrounding the city. Here the exercise of hunting was believed to benefit a condottiere directly; by the familiarity gained of one’s own territory he would learn not only how to better defend it but also that he could easily translate this experience to other territories. Machiavelli believed hunting so valuable as to admonish that “[a] prince who is lacking in this skill is wanting in the first essentials of a leader; for it is this which teaches how to find the enemy, take up quarters, lead armies, plan battles and lay siege to towns with advantage” (The Prince, 90). Federico’s love for this peacetime activity was represented by the hunting horn suspended in the Gubbio studiolo.

From Architecture and memory: the Renaissance studioli of Federico de Montefeltro by Robert Kirkbride

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  • Architectural History
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  • Fig. 6.64. In the Battle of Volterra (1472), Federico’s swift victory (achieved in twenty-two days, avoiding a lengthy siege of one of the most strongly fortified Tuscan cities) resulted from the duke’s skillful interpretation of the daunting landscape surrounding the city. Here the exercise of hunting was believed to benefit a condottiere directly; by the familiarity gained of one’s own territory he would learn not only how to better defend it but also that he could easily translate this experience to other territories. Machiavelli believed hunting so valuable as to admonish that “[a] prince who is lacking in this skill is wanting in the first essentials of a leader; for it is this which teaches how to find the enemy, take up quarters, lead armies, plan battles and lay siege to towns with advantage” (The Prince, 90). Federico’s love for this peacetime activity was represented by the hunting horn suspended in the Gubbio studiolo.