Château du Clos Lucé

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Leonardo da Vinci and France


The Château du Clos Lucé presents a new exhibition: "Léonard de Vinci et la France" (Leonardo da Vinci and France), exploring ten years of the fascinating relationship between three kings of France and the Tuscan Master. The exceptional link that Leonardo da Vinci had with France, maintained by Charles VIII, Louis XII and Francis I, is one of the fundamental aspects of the Renaissance which took shape in the Loire Valley.

Leonardo da Vinci, artist to the Kings of France

The Kings of France discovered Leonardo da Vinci’s talents during the Italian wars, and called on him. Through drawings, studies and major works, the exhibition reveals two great periods of this fascinating relationship: the Milan period (1507-1513), exploring the links between Leonardo da Vinci and Charles VIII, Louis XII and Charles d’Amboise, and the French period at the Château du Clos Lucé (1516-1519), the real grand finale of the relationship between Leonardo da Vinci and France in the reign of Francis I.

Grand projects for Francis I

Invited by Francis I to live at Le Clos Lucé in 1516, Leonardo designed grand projects: the palace and the ideal town at Romorantin, the draining of the Sologne marshes, the surprising staircase with double turns at Chambord, among others – many surprisingly modern challenges.

Leonardo, master of entertainment at the court

Named as “The King’s First Painter, Engineer and Architect”, Leonardo was also master of celebrations for Francis I. Le Clos Lucé therefore displays a copy of the mechanical lion, that caused such a stir at the great festival organised at Argentan in 1517.

Leonardo’s heritage

The exhibition displays the heritage of the greatest genius of all time, the one who moved Francis I to say: “For each of us, the death of this man is a bereavement, since it is impossible that we will ever see his like again.

Opening times

February, March, April, June, September, October: 10 am - 7 pm
July - August: 10 am - 8 pm
November - December : 10 am - 6 pm


Exhibition press pack