“Having very illustrious Lord, seen and considered the experiments of all those who claim to be masters in the art of inventing war machines… I have a way to construct bridges very light and easy to carry, for the pursuit of the fleeing enemy; others more solid, which resist fire and storm, and also easy to apply and remove. I also know of ways to burn and destroy the bridges of the enemy….” It is this letter preserved in the Codex Atlanticus, written in the form of the curriculum vitae of a military engineer, Leonardo da Vinci offered his services to the strong man of the duchy of Milan, Ludovico il moro (1451-1508).

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In the framework of the event the 500 years of Renaissance(s) , held in the Loire valley, the royal city of Loches returns through the prism of the exciting exhibition, Ludovic Sforza: a patron of the arts in the dungeon on the life and the influence exerted by the duke of Milan, on the work of the painter of The mona lisa . A life that will end in tragedy, in Touraine, after Louis XII had ordered the imprisonment of the duke after his defeat at Novara in the year 1500.

The last prison of the prince of the lombard, the royal citadel of Loches, is intimately linked with the tragic fate of More. It is here, in fact, from 1504 to 1508, the duke of Milan will end his days, cooped up in the dungeon of the castle of Loches, where Louis XI, already, was in the habit to be cruel to imprison forever his rivals.

“The last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci rue des Archives, The last Supper of Leonardo, a masterpiece incomparable

For Ludovico il moro, Leonardo da Vinci made masterpieces ephemeral as the famous feast of Paradise, which astonished the court of Milan. Gorgio Vasari tells in his famous book The Lives of artists a knight automaton left open-mouthed in admiration at the prince, who saw it as the expression of a supernatural power.

in Addition to the Dome of Milan, the mold for the equestrian statue giant dedicated to Francesco Sforza, father of Ludovico, in the decoration of the Sforza castle, the paintings of The Lady with the ermine and La Belle Ferronnière , Leonard will leave behind an incomparable masterpiece for posterity, the famous Supper painted on a wall of the refectory of the convent of Saint Mary of the graces.

The exposure of the donjon of Loches puts a tremendously in scene all these masterpieces of Leonardo, made during his fruitful period in Milan. She is also on the last years of the captivity of the duke, which will eventually be languishing, locked away from Milan, in the Touraine, where everything seemed hostile. A little artist himself, he carved on the walls of the dungeon and giant-these words, which express all of the misfortune in the fallen prince of the Renaissance: “He who is not content”.

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● To learn more about the exhibition Ludovic Sforza: a patron of the arts in the dungeon to the royal city of Loches

The life of Leonardo da Vinci of Renato Castellani: in Milan with Ludovico il moro

In search of the tomb of Ludovico Sforza in the church of Saint-Ours in Loches, where lies in its lying Agnès Sorel: meeting with the archaeologist Pierre Papin