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‘A Night at the Louvre’: Documentary gives rare look into the world’s most revered museum

‘A Night at the Louvre’: Documentary gives rare look into the world’s most revered museum

For those among us missing the arts or travel (at this stage, aren’t we all?), a new film, A Night at the Louvre: Leonardo da Vinci may be a temporary fix.

‘A Night at the Louvre’: Documentary gives rare look into the world’s most revered museum

France’s most revered museum, The Louvre held a major retrospective on Leonardo da Vinci from October 2019 to February 2020 to commemorate the 500-year anniversary of the artist’s death.

On the last night of the exhibition, the museum and Pathé Live teamed up to film a documentary, which examines and discusses some of the artist’s most beautiful works in detail. 

The exhibition’s two curators, Vincent Delieuvin and Louis Frank, worked for 10 years on the exhibition. During the film they take a leisurely nocturnal stroll through the Louvre, giving their insight into Leonardo’s artistic practice and pictorial technique.

Leonardo da Vinci Exhibition (Andrea del Verrochio, Christ and Saint Thomas) © Musée du Louvre Antoine Mongodin 

For fans of his work, it is a rare chance to contemplate these masterpieces in the company of experts in the field.

Born in 1452 in Vinci, Italy, Da Vinci was the illegitimate child of a notary. At 10, he was taken as a pupil by sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio where he soon showed extraordinary talent.

He went on to become a true Renaissance man. As well as working as a painter and sculptor, philosopher, set designer and musician, he also studied and wrote on geology, geography, hydrology, zoology, botany, anatomy, town planning and architecture.

Vinci Léonard de (1452-1519). Paris, musée du Louvre. 

This was because, as co-curator Louis Frank explains, “As Leonardo da Vinci wishes to represent or recreate the real world, he needs to know its intimate essence: all sciences thus become instruments of painting.”

There are, unfortunately, only about 20 surviving paintings today that can definitely be attributed to Da Vinci but he also produced more than 4,000 written documents featuring notes, drawings, inventions and ideas – some of which inform this fascinating film.

A Night at the Louvre: Leonardo da Vinci opens in Australian and New Zealand cinemas on 16 October.

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