The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Wednesday, January 27, 2021


France, Italy mark 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death
French President Emmanuel Macron (C), his wife Brigitte Macron (L) and Italian President Sergio Mattarella walk in the gardens of Chambord Castle following commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the death of Italian Renaissance painter and scientist Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), in Chambord, France. The French President and his Italian counterpart on May 2 kicked off commemorations to mark 500 years since Leonardo da Vinci died in France, paying their respects to the Renaissance genius in a show of unity after months of diplomatic tensions. ludovic MARIN / AFP.

by Gina Doggett



AMBOISE (AFP).- French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella on Thursday kicked off commemorations to mark 500 years since Leonardo da Vinci died in France, paying their respects to the Renaissance genius in a show of unity after months of diplomatic tensions.

"The bond between our countries and our citizens is indestructible," Macron said after the two men lunched at the Clos Luce, the sumptuous manor house where Leonardo spent the last three years of his life.

Mattarella and Macron, who was accompanied by his wife Brigitte, began their visit at the royal chateau in Amboise, where the heads of state laid wreaths at Leonardo's grave.

The Italian leader had started his day with a visit to the fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

The joint celebrations come after months of mounting diplomatic tensions between Paris and Rome over the hardline policies of Italy's populist government and its support for France's anti-government "yellow vest" protesters.

In the worst diplomatic crisis between the two countries since World War II, Paris briefly recalled its ambassador from Rome.

Amboise, a sleepy town on the Loire River where Leonardo died in 1519 aged 67, was in virtual lockdown because of fears of protests by France's grassroots "yellow vest" movement.

Amboise was turned into a ghost town, with traffic banned within a five-kilometre (three-mile) radius and the usually teeming restaurants and shops shuttered. On Wednesday, dozens of cars were towed away, with some foreign owners apparently unaware of the draconian security measures in the town of just 13,000.

The presidential helicopter arrived on a river island in the heart of the town, touching down on a pad usually used to launch hot-air balloons over the chateau-studded valley.

Also Thursday, the two presidents visited the sprawling chateau of Chambord -- whose central double-helix staircase is attributed to Leonardo though the first stone was not laid until four months after his death.

Among glitterati attending the events were Italian star architect Renzo Piano, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and historian Stephane Bern, a prominent French television personality.

At Chambord, Pesquet told a group of around 500 Italian and French youths: "If Leonardo were alive today, maybe he would be a European astronaut."

The entire Loire Valley has seized on Leonardo's quincentenary as that of the Renaissance in general, planning more than 500 events across the region, with Bern as the figurehead.

'Architect of the king'
Francis I, known as the "Sun King of the 16th century", is widely credited with bringing the Renaissance to France, even if his predecessor Louis XII had begun the process by bringing in architects and artisans from Florence, Milan and Rome.

Leonardo was 64 when he accepted the young Francis I's invitation to Amboise, at a time when rivals Michelangelo and Raphael were rising stars.

With Leonardo's commissions drying up, it came as a great relief and no small vindication for the Tuscan artist, who received a handsome stipend as the "first painter, engineer and architect of the king".

At the time, Francis I was barely 23, and his ambitious mother Louise of Savoy "knew that Leonardo would be the man who would allow her son to flourish", Catherine Simon Marion, managing director of the Clos Luce, told AFP.

Leonardo brought with him three of his favourite paintings: the Mona Lisa, the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and Saint John the Baptist -- all of which today hang in the Louvre museum in Paris.

Italy and France have also sparred over an accord under which Italy will lend several Leonardos to the Louvre in October.

With fewer than 20 Leonardo paintings still in existence, many Italians are resentful that the Louvre possesses five of them, as well as 22 drawings.

During his three years in Amboise, Leonardo organised lavish parties for the court and worked to design an ideal city for Francis at nearby Romorantin -- one of the polymath's many unrealised projects -- all while continuing his research.


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

May 3, 2019

Newly identified Leonardo portrait on show in London

France, Italy mark 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death

'Screaming Pope' by Bacon to lead Sotheby's Sales of Works from the Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection

Experts comb through DNA from possible Da Vinci hair

Footprint found in Chile is 'oldest' in Americas: Scientists

The Michael Scharf Family Collection leads Christie's American Art Sale

Lévy Gorvy to represent Jutta Koether in the U.S.

Woody Allen finding it hard to sell his memoir: report

Phillips announces highlights from the Hong Kong Spring Sales of 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design

The Snite Museum of Art announces the gift of photographs from the Brett Weston Archive

Solo show of New York School artist Knox Martin opens at Hollis Taggart

Superb vintage Patek Philippe to highlight Sotheby's sale of Important Watches in Geneva

Actor Peter Mayhew, who portrayed Chewbacca in 'Star War' dies

Christie's Classic Week totals $79.5 million, Old Masters sales set 5 new world auction records

Memorial Day fun to start early at Bertoia's May 23-24 Annual Spring Toy Auction

Frieze New York: Jenkins Johnson awarded Stand Prize & Company win Frame Prize

Christie's announces highlights included in the Art of Africa Masterworks sale

Cooke Latham Gallery opens an exhibition of works by William Cobbing

Perth artist Tessa MacKay awarded 2019 Archibald Packing Room Prize for her portrait of David Wenham

Exhibition focuses on the visionary nature of art commonly known as outsider art

Christie's to highlight several private collections in Jewellery sale

Tales of Leonardo, enigmatic genius

Times Square Alliance announces Jean Cooney as Director of Times Square Arts

Opera Gallery, New York announces Andy Denzler exhibition, Introspection

How to Become a Good English Writer




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful