« Two days ago, on Sunday, the Christian king gave a feast, a most admirable celebration, which I describe to you as follows. The place was named Le Cloux, big and beautiful palace. […] There must have been four hundred chandeliers so bright you’d think night was chased away »
Letter by Galeazzo Visconti, Ambassador of Mantoue at the court of France, describing the Festa del paradise organised by Leonardo da Vinci in the gardens of the Clos Lucé on Juni 1518 to thank the king of his good deeds. »
1519 - 2019 : Commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci at the Château du Clos Lucé
The history of Leonardo da Vinci and his masterpieces, including The Mona Lisa, during his time in France begins at the Château du Clos Lucé. Invited by King Francis I of France, Leonardo da Vinci left Italy and took up residence at the Château du Clos Lucé in the autumn of 1516. Appointed 'first painter, engineer and architect to the King', da Vinci served the monarch with his talents, working tirelessly on numerous projects and imagining plans for the 'ideal' château.
On 23 April 1519, Leonardo da Vinci asked Guillaume Boureau—a local notary in Amboise—to draw up his will. He died at Clos Lucé on 2 May 1519.
The cultural programme for 2019, with its various highlights, celebrates this man who believed everything was possible and who constantly combined art and science.
A day commemorating the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death
2 May 2019
➟ ‘The legacy and influence of a free spirit’ round table : Experts are invited to share their thoughts on Leonardo da Vinci’s timeless influence, drawing on their own personal and professional experience. During the event, enthusiasts and fans of the artist can leave messages on social media or in person at Clos Lucé by writing in the big white book provided at the Château.
➟ ‘Mémoire d’argile Performance’ : H.L. Bergey, a well-known visual artist, will create the bust of Leonardo da Vinci live in clay before an audience. His performance will be accompanied by three musicians and an actor who will deliver some of the visionary genius’ major ideas.
Registration on site
15 April - 1 May 2019
Filled with fun and educational events, concerts, artistic workshops, reconstructions and other surprises, this symbolic event over two days is a chance for the public to celebrate the effervescence of Leonardo da Vinci's mind and that of his heirs, 500 years after his death.
Exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci's the last supper for Francis I, a masterpiece in gold and silk"
7 June to 8 September 2019
For the first time since the 16th century, the tapestry of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper – the Ultima Cena, commissioned by Francis I – will be exhibited outside of the Vatican Museum. On this, the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the exhibition at the Château du Clos Lucé will feature this monumental masterpiece.
The tapestry was woven for Louise of Savoy and her son, the future King of France, Francis I, some time before 1514. In 1533, Francis I presented it as a gift to Pope Clement VII to celebrate the marriage between his son Henri II and the Pope’s niece, Catherine de Medici. It reworks the theme of the Last Supper and illustrates the admiration the Kings of France had for Leonardo da Vinci and the mural he painted in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. This monumental work - 5.15 metres high and 9.13 metres long - is currently being restored with the support of the Château du Clos Lucé.
The exhibition will feature around 30 pieces, including objects on loan from other museums and from the Clos Lucé’s own collection.
In addition to the ticket price :
Adult : 5 € / 7 - 18 years old : 1 € / free under 7
➟ Buy your ticket online ! (soon)
Night show : "THE HEIRS"
18, 19 and 20 July 2019
A theatrical creation by Marin Bellemare, Didier Girauldon and Constance Larrieu
The Château du Clos Lucé will be the setting for a nocturnal theatrical and musical adventure. Created especially for the 500th anniversary by Martin Bellemare (from Quebec), Didier Girauldon and Constance Larrieu, the show, which will be open to all, invites the audience to witness an unexpected encounter between Leonardo da Vinci and his modern-day heirs.
- Only in french
- From 9 to 10.30 pm
- Prices : adult 20€ / 18-5 years old 12 €
➟ Tickets online soon !
The 14th European Renaissance Music Festival
27, 28 and 29 September 2019
To celebrate the European Renaissance Music Festival, Clos Lucé has commissioned Jordi Savall to devise a show inspired by Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance on 27th September. The composer and musician will be surrounded by around a dozen performers from the Concert des Nations. On 28th and 29th, young talents, are invited in the spirit of passing on knowledge - a concept very dear to Leonardo da Vinci.
« The desire to know is natural to good men. »
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci and France closed until 3rd October 2019
Le Château du Clos Lucé, the link between Italian and French Renaissance - closed until 3rd October 2019
The exhibition is exceptionally closed :
> until 3rd October 2019 : closed during the temporary exhibition to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death at Clos Lucé (1519 - 2019) : 6th June - 2rd September and the during the European Renaissance Music Festival
the museum hall,
the exhibition features the result of a study and work
on the Milanese period (1507-1513) and the
French one (1516-1519).
tells us the exceptional bond that existed between Leonardo and France over ten
years and under three different kings: Charles III, Louis XII and Francis I.
This bond is the founding element of the Renaissance in the Val de Loire. The
exhibition highlights the many works realised by Leonardo da Vinci for the
kings of France.
Some unique pieces recently came to enrich the collections:
- A remarkable copy of Mona Lisa (1654) by Ambroise Dubois, painter of king Henry IV.
- A replica of David (1430 – 1432) by Donatello and considered as the first great bronze statue since antiquity.
- A unique mechanical Lion made according to the manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci, by a Venetian Master, that needed over 3 000 hours of work. It was entirely built with forged, sawed and filed iron mechanical elements.