Invited by Francis I, da Vinci arrived in Amboise in the autumn of 1516. He was 64 years old. He moved into the Manoir du Cloux (now Le Clos Lucé), a property belonging to the royal crown situated just a few hundred yards from the château.
Leonardo da Vinci's workshops © château du Clos Lucé (2016)Castle of Clos Lucé
Free from material concerns, da Vinci was able to concentrate on his work.
Fêtes du printemps 1518Château Royal d'Amboise
But he also had parties, especially in the spring of 1518. Great festivities were organized at the Château Royal d’Amboise to celebrate the birth of the crown prince, and the marriage of Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici to Madeleine de la Tour d’Auvergne.
Renaissance Court Costume by Association Animation Renaissance AmboiseChâteau Royal d'Amboise
He would both direct the overall dramatization and also be involved in how the smaller details linked together, such as the extras' costumes.
Testament de Léonard de VinciChâteau Royal d'Amboise
But in 1519, a few years after his arrival, Leonardo felt his strength declining. Just a few days before his death, he drew up a will with Maître Boureau, the attorney of the royal bailiwick of Amboise.
The document was written in French as dictated by law. In it, he requested to be buried at the Chateau Royal d'Amboise. It also gave detailed instructions on how the ceremony should be organized, stating his desire that it be like that of a prince.
Ancienne Collégiale Saint FlorentinChâteau Royal d'Amboise
He was buried in the Saint Florentin collegiate church, which was destroyed between 1806 and 1810.
The current tomb of Leonardo da Vinci is in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert, at the Château d'Amboise. His remains were moved there in 1874. It is open to the public every day.
The tombstone was remade in 1930 by Italian artist La Monaca and the medallion, by sculptor Jean Cardot, was added in the 2000s.