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Not to be missed: Leonardo da Vinci’s studios brought back to life

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s arrival at the Château of Le Clos Lucé, his studios have been entirely reconstructed and are open to the public. They are the final touch to a restoration project launched nearly 60 years ago by the Saint Bris family.
 
The reconstruction of Leonardo da Vinci’s studios took three years of research and building work in order to faithfully reproduce the bottega atmosphere that Leonardo da Vinci liked to work in. The studios have been laid out to allow visitors to discover the routine of a typical day in the life of the genius, from morning to evening with different levels of light. The decor recreates in minute detail the studious atmosphere the great master lived in, with dozens of drawings, artists’ tools, the pigments table and the bookcase filled with facsimiles from the Institut de France and other ancient works. Models of the giant statue of a horse commissioned by Francis 1 are also on display, as well as copies of sketches of the master’s own hand and a historic copy of Saint Anne on loan from the museum of Chambéry.
 
The Cabinet of Curiosities exhibits unusual items such as astrolabes, globes, herbariums, skeletons and taxidermies, vanitas objects and shells. The highlight of the visit is the meeting between the Cardinal of Aragon and Leonardo da Vinci which has been recreated using holograms and special effects. The whole exhibition is so realistic that it feels like Leonardo da Vinci is still living here!
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