"In late 1504 and early 1505, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti were both at work on commissions they had received to paint murals in Florence's City Hall. Leonardo was to depict a historic battle between Florence and Milan, Michelangelo one between Florence and Pisa. Though neither project was ever completed, the painters' mythic encounter shaped art and its history in the decades and centuries that followed. This concise, lucid, and thought-provoking book looks again at the one moment when Leonardo and Michelangelo worked side by side, seeking to identify the roots of their differing ideas of the figure in 15th-century pictorial practices and to understand what this contrast meant to the artists and writers who followed them. At the center of the book is the preoccupation of both artists with ideas of painted 'force.' Michael W. Cole, an expert in Renaissance art history, traces the diverging conceptions of painted force that Leonardo and Michelangelo held. For Leonardo, figural force translated principles from the medieval science of weights and measures and modern engineering; in Michelangelo's case, the impression of force came with the isolation of the individual figure from a surrounding narrative. Through close investigation of the two artists' work, Cole provides a new account of critical developments in Italian Renaissance painting."--Book jacket.