Leonardo da Vinci at the Louvre, how to organize an impossible exhibition?

Speaker: Vincent Delieuvin, Chief Curator, Italian Sixteenth Century Paintings, the Louvre

In 2019-2020, the Louvre organized an exhibition to celebrate the 500-year anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci in France, of particular importance for the museum, which holds the largest collection in the world of da Vinci’s paintings, as well as 22 drawings. The retrospective of da Vinci’s painting career wanted to illustrate how he placed utmost importance on painting, and how his investigation of the world, which he referred to as “the science of painting,” was the instrument of his art, seeking nothing less than to bring life to his paintings. The museum tried to seize the opportunity to gather as many of the artist’s paintings as possible around the five core works in its collections, but also a wide array of drawings as well as a small but significant series of paintings and sculptures from the master’s circle. The exhibition was the culmination of more than ten years of work, notably including new scientific examinations of the Louvre’s paintings, and the conservation treatment of three of them, allowing for better understanding of da Vinci’s artistic practice and pictorial technique. Clarification of his biography has also emerged through the exhaustive reexamination of archival documents. Vincent Delieuvin, one of the two curators of the exhibition will explain how he conceived the project and tried to solve the important problems of loans. 

Vincent Delieuvin is Chief curator for Italian Sixteenth Century Paintings at the Louvre. He organized several exhibitions on Italian Renaissance: « Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese… Rivals in Venice » in 2009, « The Saint Anne, Leonardo da Vinci’s Ultimate Masterpiece » in 2012 and « late Raphael » in 2012-2013. More recently, he published several articles on Leonardo da Vinci and organized in 2019-2020 the exhibition celebrating the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death in France. 

Organised by Dr Scott Nethersole (The Courtauld) and Dr Guido Rebecchini (The Courtauld). 

This event has passed.

13 Oct 2021

Wednesday 13th October, 5.00pm - 6.30pm BST

Free, booking essential


Registration closes 30 minutes before the event start time. If you do not receive log in details on the day of the event, please contact researchforum@courtauld.ac.uk


Exhibition poster showing a painting of a woman and the words 'Leonard De Vinci'
Exhibition poster for 'Leonard De Vinci'