Château where da Vinci died dedicates online site to him

Chateau du Clos Luce. (AFP pic)

LOIRE VALLEY: The French château where Leonardo da Vinci spent the final years of his life has launched a kid-friendly, online portal that delves deep into the mysteries and brilliance of the Italian Renaissance master.

Last year, the Château du Clos Lucé in the Loire Valley threw several special events to fête the 500th anniversary of da Vinci’s death.

It was there that the Italian artist, sculptor, architect, engineer, scientist, anatomist and botanist spent the last three years of his life at the invitation of the French king before passing away in 1519.

Households looking for ways to entertain themselves or their children can now learn more about da Vinci’s extraordinary life and vision of the world through the château’s newly created interactive microsite designed with lesson modules and quizzes.

Participants learn, for instance, that da Vinci was left-handed and wrote all his notes backwards, perhaps as a way to foil others from stealing his ideas. The notes could only be deciphered with a mirror held up to the pages.

Students also learn just why the “Mona Lisa” painting is so remarkable (it lies in sfumato, a new painting technique he invented that gives the illusion of relief and dimension) and that in his youth, da Vinci was said to be famously handsome.

The Louvre museum in Paris also celebrated da Vinci’s landmark anniversary last year with the most anticipated exhibit of the year.

The exhibit, which ran between October 2019 and February 2020, attracted 1.1 million visitors, a record-breaking attendance number for a temporary exhibition at the museum.