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500th Anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s Death in France

..Private Tours & Events

On May 2, 1519, the great Italian Renaissance artist, inventor and philosopher Leonardo da Vinci died in France at the age of 67. He had moved there in 1516 under the sponsorship of King Francis I, who invited him to come reside in the Loire Valley at the Château du Clos Lucé. The ornate mansion lies on the grounds of the Château d’Amboise, where the King himself resided. Da Vinci would spend the final three years of life there, devoting much of his energies to exploring engineering and architectural innovations. It has even been theorised that he contributed to the final designs of the Chateau de Chambord, one of the most beautiful and elaborate castles in the Loire Valley!

Marie Tesson in vineyard founder of Exclusive France Tours

Marie Tesson


The 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death in the Loire Valley, France is an occasion to better understand the master’s oeuvre, including his architectural achievements. Here’s why our private tours will help you appreciate his art even more.

A Landmark Year to Fete the Artist

While in the past Leonardo’s last French years were little-known to those who admire the Florentine master’s works, 2019 has been the occasion to mark his monumental oeuvre and his life in France. It marks the 500th anniversary of his death in the Loire Valley; his tomb lies within the Chapel of Saint Hubert at the Chateau d’Amboise.

Major exhibits and special events this year and through much of 2020 celebrate this landmark anniversary, encouraging visitors to learn more about the life and legacy of one of Europe’s greatest artists and thinkers. If you’re interested in taking part of some of the commemorative activities detailed below as part of a bespoke private tour of France, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our expert luxury travel docents and guides will ensure you unlock all the secrets of Leonardo da Vinci’s France years.

Vitruvian Man by Leonard de Vinci

Paris: A Monumental Exhibit on Leonardo Da Vinci at the Louvre Museum

As part of a luxury tour in Paris, why not take in an exhibit that is expected to be among the year’s most monumental and successful? The Louvre Museum, which already claims to hold the largest permanent collection of Leonardo’s masterpiece paintings, is staging an innovative and wide-scale show to fete the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death. It opened in late October, 2019 and runs through February 24th, 2020.

In addition to a special virtual-reality installation called Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass, which aims to give visitors a more intimate, in-depth experience of Leonardo’s most recognisable painting through digital technology, the temporary show at the Louvre showcases more than 140 works of art and design from the Florentine master.

The museum’s permanent collection of 5 paintings and 2 drawings is showcased in totally new and innovative ways, shedding light on Leonardo’s remarkable artistic processes and oddly modern perspectives. In addition to these, paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts and design notebooks borrowed from major museums around the world plunge visitors into the singular genius of Leonardo, showing how his work evolved across time.

We see how he developed groundbreaking techniques of light, shadow and form, ushering the art of painting and drawing into modernity. You can also see some of his fascinating notebooks, in which are scrawled designs and plans for inventions that continue to inspire awe in anyone who beholds them.

Don’t miss this remarkable exhibit: contact us now to find out how to make it part of your high-end getaway to Paris. We can incorporate it into a totally original art and culture tour of the capital, alongside activities such as gastronomic food and wine tastings, luxury Paris shopping tours and more.

Mona Lisa Beyond the Glass @ Le Louvre
Renaissance Portrait by Leonard de Vinci

Château clos de lucé: A Fresh Permanent Exhibit in 2020

n addition, the Chateau plans to re-open a freshly curated permanent exhibit in 2020 dedicated to the legacy of Leonardo, featuring a comparative look at the artist’s Milanese period (1507-1513) and his French one (1516-1519). It will explore the artist’s relationships with three French Kings: Charles III, Louis XII and Francis I, and show how these bonds helped fuel a Renaissance in art and architecture that would profoundly shape Italian, French, and European history.

The collections have also been recently augmented with a few remarkable new pieces, including:

  • A breathtaking copy of the Mona Lisa (1654) by Ambroise Dubois, who was the official painter for king Henry IV
  • A replica of Donatello’s David (1430 – 1432), a bronze statue considered to be one of the period’s finest
  • A mechanical Lion that was produced following the designs of Leonardo, created by a Venetian master

If you’re drawn to the Loire Valley and want to include an exploration of Leonardo’s local legacy as part of a unique private tour in the area, we’re at your service. Combine it with a luxury Loire wine tour, private cruise on the Loire river, or any number of other activities.

Chateau Clos Lucé

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