To mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the Louvre has organised a major exhibition devoted to the Florentine painter and inventor. It’s yet another reason to visit this iconic museum and see the exceptional works brought together for the occasion in Paris.
Painter, sculptor and architect as well as philosopher, mathematician and botanist, Leonardo da Vinci continues to rouse admiration 500 years after his death. The dedicated exhibition, held at the Louvre from 24 October 2019 to 24 February 2020, showcases the talent of this extraordinary figure and the importance of painting in his body of work.
Leonardo da Vinci is installed under the Louvre Pyramid in Paris
On display in the Napoleon Hall beneath the pyramid of the Louvre, this must-see exhibition of Paris’ 2019 cultural season will be open for four months. The structure is actually celebrating its 30th birthday this year, conceived by Ieoh Ming Pei as a symbol of the international welcome by the museum and France as a whole. A series of events have been organised until the end of the year to celebrate this anniversary – another reason to visit the Louvre, which welcomed some 10 million visitors in 2018.
The exhibition includes 120 works by Leonardo da Vinci, among them paintings, drawings, and sculptures, but also works of art and manuscripts from prestigious institutions such as the Royal Collection, the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Pinacoteca Vaticana, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Institut de France. While the Mona Lisa remains on display within the Louvre’s permanent collection, this temporary exhibition presents an unprecedented opportunity to see so many of da Vinci’s other masterpieces united in one place.
Da Vinci’s crazy creations are also on display at Chateau du Clos-Lucé in the Loire Valley – read more here.
An exhibition through da Vinci’s worldly travels
For fans of Italian Renaissance painting, the exhibition is also a chance to rediscover Leonardo da Vinci and be clear on his biography. A careful review of all historical documentation relating to the artist has been necessary, and has led to a highly original result. Far from the usual canonical approach of Leonardo da Vinci, the exhibition highlights his work through the prism of his geographical travels, revealing to visitors a free man and a brilliant artist.
In addition, the scientific examination of the Louvre’s existing paintings by da Vinci and a painstaking restoration of three of them – the Sainte Anne, the Belle Ferronnière and the Saint Jean Baptiste –has enabled a better understanding of his pictorial techniques and artistic practice. The exhibition aims to convey the ‘new vision’ of the artist.
An extensive programme supporting the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition
A wide-ranging programme of cultural events accompanies the must-see show. Family visits every Wednesday afternoon allow young visitors to learn about the life of Leonardo da Vinci and start to understand Renaissance painting. The visit ends with an virtual-reality experience diving fully into the Mona Lisa, and interacting with this iconic painting in the Louvre.
© Still from Mona Lisa Beyond the Glass, Courtesy Emissive and HTC Vive Arts
Seasoned exhibition-goers can also enjoy a series of conferences throughout the duration of the exhibition, including “Leonardo da Vinci between art and science”, “Leonardo in the Italian literature of the Renaissance”,“In Leonardo’s studio” and “Leonardo: writing in motion”.
The work of this famous Florentine artist can now be seen in a new light thanks to the varied scientific research into his creations. Don’t miss your face-to-face with this legendary artistic figure, from 24 October 2019 at the Louvre