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Late Years

09/15131516

Obtained from: www.leonardodavinci.net

From September 1513 to 1516, under Pope Leo X, Leonardo spent much of his time living in the Belvedere in the Vatican in Rome, where Raphael and Michelangelo were both active at the time. In October 1515, King Francis I of France recaptured Milan. On 19 December, Leonardo was present at the meeting of Francis I and Pope Leo X, which took place in Bologna. Leonardo was commissioned to make for Francis a mechanical lion that could walk forward then open its chest to reveal a cluster of lilies. In 1516, he entered Francis' service, being given the use of the manor house Clos Lucé, now a public museum, near the king's residence at the royal Château d'Amboise. He spent the last three years of his life here, accompanied by his friend and apprentice, Count Francesco Melzi, and supported by a pension totalling 10,000 scudi.


Clos Lucé in France, where Leonardo died in 1519

Location of remains

Leonardo's remains were originally interred in the chapel of Saint-Florentin at the Chateau d'Amboise in the Loire Valley. However, following the chapel's destruction in 1802, the whereabouts of Leonardo's remains became subject to dispute. While excavating the site in 1863 the poet Arsene Houssaye found a partially-complete skeleton and stone fragments bearing the inscription 'EO [...] DUS VINC'. The unusually large skull led Houssaye to conclude he had located the remains of Leonardo, which were re-interred in their present location of the chapel of Saint-Hubert, also at the Chateau d'Amboise. Reflecting doubts about the attribution, a plaque above the tomb states that the remains are only "presumed" to be those of Leonardo. In 2016 it was announced that DNA tests were to be conducted to investigate the veracity of the attribution, with results expected in 2019.

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Published in 10/08/2018

Updated in 19/02/2021

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