Bartolomeo Colleoni

Verrocchio's statue of the mercenary, Bartolomeo Colleoni, Venice
Venice is home to the most magnificent bronze equestrian statue in the world. 

The statue, which was modelled by Andrea del Verrocchio and cast by Alessandro Leopardi, portrays Bartolomeo Colleoni (1400-75), a successful condottiero (mercenary), who was employed by the Venetian republic for many years.
The equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice.
Verrocchio depicts man and horse as a formidable fighting machine. 


Bartolomeo Colleoni was very proud of his family name, which comes from the Latin word coleus (testicle). As a general, he led his men into battle with the cry 'Coglia, coglia' and his coat of arms actually depicts three pairs of testicles. 
Bartolomeo Colleoni's coat of arms
This can be better seen on his coat of arms in the Cappella Colleoni (Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore) in Bergamo, where he is buried. 
Coat of arms of Bartolomeo Colleoni, Cappella Colleoni, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo
In Italian, a slang word for testicles is coglioni

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