Major event in Paris in 2019, the Louvre Will dedicate an exceptional exhibition to Leonardo da Vinci to celebrate Da Vinci's death's 500th anniversary. He died in 1519 in Amboise, an event you don't want to miss to learn more about the genius!
Painter, scientist, philosopher, inventor, engineer, Leonardo da Vinci embodies Renaissance on his own and his genius is still fascinating 500 years after he passed away. Only 15 paintings came to us and the Louvre owns 5 canvases by the master – Virgin of the Rocks, La Belle Ferronnière (also known as Portrait of an Unknown Woman), Mona Lisa, Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist and St John the Baptist.
By the way, the Louvre chairman said that he wanted "to bring as many paintings by the master as possible" and "to see the Salvator Mundi in Paris", the painting by the master sold for 450 million dollars in November 2017. At the inauguration, the painting was not at the Louvre, but the teams still expect it to arrive. To console ourselves, we can still discover the Salvator Mundi but Ganay version, a painting identified by the Louvre as being painted by Vinci's student Marco d'Oggiono!
An exhibition expected by art historians
How come this exhibition is unmissable? The Louvre team have been working really hard for 10 years and have studied over and over again all the archive documents to clear Leonardo Da Vinci's biography. They made several infrared reflectographies of Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings to see the different carbon layers hidden by color pigment to see the fabrication process of great masterpieces such as Mona Lisa.
While experts always describe his life in 6 main chapters - matching his travels - the Louvre proposes a new version based on few elements Leonardo Da Vinci put into action.
To do so, the Louvre has negotiated a loan with the biggest museums in the world to bring together 140 works by Leonardo Da Vinci in order to support new ideas. And you can also enjoy the oh-so fragile Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinic.
A tour around Leonardo Da Vinci's Techniques
After an introduction telling us about Lionardo di Ser Piero da Vinci's youth in Florence, where he was sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio's student, the exhibition tells us about when Leonardo da Vinci learned about movement and chiaroscuro, two notions leading the painter to the "idea that space and size and created by light and they have no other reality but shadow and light".
Then, around 1478, the genius concludes his training that "the shape isn't only an illusion that the world keeps on tearing off itself". So, we have to accept the liberty of the hand and deny the perfection impossible to find. As difficult as it might be, Leonardo Da Vinci devotes himself into several compositions where black lines are overlaid like in "Study for the Madonna of the Cat" or the "Madonna of the Fruits". The "incult composition" or componimento inculto will launch the trend of incompletion.
In addition to his almost philosophical paintings, Leonardo Da Vinci uses drawing to appreciate the world arround him, present his ideas and projects. We often talk about the Codex Atlanticus, a collection of drawings and notes gathered in 1.119 big format leaves conducted between 1478 and 1518 in which Leonardo da Vinci brought together various studies on many hydraulic engines used for transportation or water pumping, a magnificent work.
In the beautiful room, looked by the Last Supper, we can study over 30 scientific and fascinating studies for the time, such as a study for the church domes or the Euclidean demonstration of the Pythagorean theorem from circa 1503-1507.
Mona Lisa, star of the exhibition?
Leonardo Da Vinci loved painting the beauty of the world in his paintings that became works of art thanks to their hidden messages. His most famous work, Mona Lisa whose look is supposed to follow us for several meters.
As crazy as it may sound, the Mona Lisa is not the star of the exhibition and is (almost) not part of the exhibition. The Louvre chose not to move the masterpiece from the collections since many tourists come to seet it and know her room by heart.
But we can be happy with the infrared study of the painting and its previous studies, and especially the virtual reality. Yes, the museum innovates and offers us an experience during which Mona Lisa will unveil her secrets thanks to virtual reality: put an helmet on and enjoy even the smallest details of this painting and look at it up close. A breathtaking one-on-one, especially when you know that people are gathering to take a picture of it, from the distance.
This is an exhibition that blew our minds and you want to see!
From 24 October 2019 to 24 February 2020
Musée du Louvre
Pyramide - Cour Napoléon
75001 Paris 1
Métro Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre
Au vu du nombre de visiteurs attendus, l'accès à l'exposition se fera sur inscription des créneaux horaires bien définis.
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