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How a 15th century triptych becomes an animated short film

Painted in 1438, “The Battle of San Romano” is one of the best-known works by Paolo Uccello, a 15th-century Florentine painter. It is a triptych that immortalizes three key episodes of the battle that took place on June 2, 1432, between the Florentines and the Sienese. To date, the three panels are part of the permanent collections of the National Gallery in London, the Louvre Museum and the Uffizi respectively. It was here in 1962 that Swiss director Georges Schwizgebel was captured by the power of Paolo Uccello’s painted image and, unconsciously, laid the groundwork for the animated short film “The Battle of San Romano“. 

With a spiral movement, the shot starts from the top left corner and arrives at the center of the image, following the movements of the knights and horses that clash in a battle that seems choreographed. In this way, we can admire all the attention and care with which each brushstroke has been animated. 


Animated film, acrylic on cell
DCP 2K digital, 2’25’’, 1 :89, 5.1
June 2017
Réalisation : Georges Schwizgebel
Music & Sound design : Judith Gruber-Stitzer
Sound mix : Pierre Yves Drapeau
Compositing : Jonathan Laskar, papier perforé
Color grading :Boris Rabusseau, freestudios
Production : Studio GDS, Schwizgebel
© 2017 Schwizgebel

How a 15th century triptych becomes an animated short film