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Tours: A Panoply of Offers for Contemporary Art, Music and History Buffs

Show by Artist Alicia Kwade at the CCC OD (the Olivier Debré Contemporary Art Centre) in Tours. Jan 2 to Aug. 31.

For her first major solo exhibition in France, the internationally acclaimed Berlin-based artist, Alicia Kwade, is presenting a monumental new work entitled ‘The Resting Thought’. As visitors move through this poetic and monumental maze-like installation, the images and sculpture’s shape also change, multiplying points of view, and leading us to reflect on the world around us.
A Tribute to Leonardo Da Vinci: Contemporary Art Show at the Château du Rivau. April 1 to Nov. 3.
The exhibition ‘Homage to Leonardo’ is a refreshing new take by a group of contemporary artists inspired by the Renaissance and by the universal spirit and multiple contributions of Leonardo da Vinci, the versatile genius and master of the Cinquecento who died in the Loire Valley 500 years ago. Designed as a vast cabinet of curiosities, the display features works by some 30 creators from across the world that echo and/or re-interpret those of the Master himself.
’The Death of Leonardo da Vinci: The Construction of a Myth’, at the Château Royal d’Amboise, May 2 to Sept. 3.
This major exhibition, centred on the monumental painting (2.80 m. x 3.57 m.), ‘The Death of Leonardo da Vinci’ by François-Guillaume Ménageot, and engravings from France’s national archives, explores the many aspects of the close relationship that developed between King Francis I and Leonardo, whom he lovingly referred to as ‘my father’. It also underscores the importance of the Loire Valley and Amboise in the life of the peripatetic da Vinci, who died there in 1519 and now rests at home and in peace in the château’s chapel.
‘Leonardo da Vinci's the Last Supper for Francis I: A Masterpiece in Gold and Silk’, an exceptional exhibition at the Château du Clos Lucé. June 7 to Sept. 2.
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 displayed outside of the Vatican Museum, in honour of the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. The show will feature this monumental 5.15 m. x 9.13 m. masterpiece, based the mural da Vinci painted in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, and presented by Francis I to Pope Clement VII for the marriage between his son Henri II and the Pope’s niece, Catherine de Médicis.
Expo ‘Jean Breton and the Renaissance at Villandry’, Château de Villandry. June 14 to Sept. 30
Jean Breton was one of the four royal secretaries of King Francis I who rose to prominence, establishing their new place in society by building some of the most remarkable residences in the Loire Valley, rivalling even those of the king. Among them, the châteaux de Bury, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau and Breton’s very own creation, the splendid Château de Villandry. 
Villandry is now famous worldwide, notably for its gold-standard Renaissance gardens. The original gardens, once lost amid a forest of trees and greenery, were rescued and lovingly restored by the chateau’s new owner, Joachim Carvalho, at the beginning of the 20th century, and are admirably kept-up by his descendants. A must!
Tours: Concert by Doulce Mémoire in Honour of Leonardo da Vinci, Grand Théâtre de Tours, June 19.
For its 30th anniversary, Doulce Mémoire, the internationally acclaimed Renaissance musical ensemble will present ‘The Renaissance in all its Forms’, an exceptional programme in honour of Leonardo da Vinci. The group is known for its inventiveness and willingness to embrace new forms of expression so be ready to welcome a constellation of rising young stars and surprise guests.
New Sound and Light Evening Tour at the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau. June 29 to 1 Sept. 1  
The château’s new sound and light show takes visitors on a leisurely night stroll through its vast green landscaped park. The graphic artists of Explore Studio have designed a magical virtual journey into new worlds of the Renaissance. The marvellously imaginative show reflects the spirit of a time when the exquisite little jewel-like château was a focal point of inventiveness and creativity.
The Château of Chenonceau Pays Tribute to its Most Famous Owner, Catherine de Médicis - From June 15.
Chenonceau owes much to Catherine de Médicis, who added the two galleries which span the river, echoing the Ponte Vecchio in her home town of Florence, giving it that unique touch of Renaissance refinement. But the great ‘Builder Queen’ also loved the company of scientists and in particular her herbalist, Nostradamus. This year her famous Apothecary has been opened to the public in the same place as before, and visitors can also discover her garden, entirely redesigned in black and white like her iconic gallery.
European Renaissance Music Festival: An Homage to Leonardo, Château du Clos Lucé. Sept. 27, 28 and 29
The Château du Clos Lucé will be giving carte blanche to the renowned Spanish conductor, Jordi Savall, for a concert inspired by Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. Savall will perform with a dozen musicians from Europe’s ‘Concert des Nations’ and a roster of talented young musicians invited in the spirit of sharing so dear to da Vinci. 
For more information about "500 ans de Renaissance(S]