Monday, May 2, 2016

Leonardo's Abode in the Loire Valley

Clos Luce
Leonardo da Vinci spent the last three years of his life at the court of Francois I until his death on May 2, 1519.  The Renaissance master, came to live in 1516 in Amboise to be close to the French king. He was given the use of the manor of the Clos Luce, located 500 meters from the royal castle of Amboise in the Loire Valley. Leonardo is buried in the Chapel of Saint Hubert in the royal castle.

You can visit Leonardo's  manor house and Park.   Inside you can view  rooms furnished with period Renaissance pieces  as well as a museum  exhibiting models of the machines the master imagined such as flying machine, the parachute and the helicopter.  The   6 hectares park also features larger renditions of Leonardo's  engeneering inventions like a double-deck bridge, a machine gun, a tank.

Did you know that the manor and the castle were linked via an underground passage which the King and the painter used to meet frequently?  The king and the painter became great friends and whether it is a fact or fiction, as reported by Vassari,  the King was at Leonardo's deathbed as depicted by later painters like Ingres. You can view this painting at the Petit Palais in Paris.

Of note, when Leonardo's left Italy, he took many of his works including  the Mona Lisa.  Upon his death, the painting was sold by his assistant Salai to the King and it's been ever since  part of  France's great art collection.

"Francois I Receives the last Breath of leonardo Da Vinci"
by Ingres (Petit Palais)

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