Arts & Entertainment

A Night At The Louvre – Leonardo Da Vinci

La Pyramide du Louvre © 2009 Musée du Louvre Stéphane Olivier

Imagine a virtual private tour of the Louvre museum set to music. Down the spiral staircase, past Winged Victory and into the gallery itself to focus on the magnificence of Leonardo Da Vinci. A Night At The Louvre – Leonardo Da Vinci is just that.

Two museum curators await you the viewer and embark upon a detailed analysis of the life and work of this great artist who was also a philosopher and a brilliant mathematician. As the curators view each painting the viewer is informed of the story behind it and the ways in which Da Vinci approached his work. In particular the focus was on the underdrawings (pentimento) beneath the paintings which show that Da Vinci did not always finish with the same composition he started with. The artist was renowned for constantly working and reworking his masterpieces.

With the technique of reflectoscopy (infrared light scanning) experts are able to note the changes Da Vinci made before completion down to the finest detail. In The Virgin Of The Rocks, for example, the figure of Mary is found in the drawing with her mother Saint Anne, but does not appear in the painting. There was also an angel looking down on them but the angel also does not appear. Painted in 1485 it was commissioned as the alter-piece for a church in Milan but a dispute over the price of the painting meant it was sold to a private collector. Later, when the church accepted the price, another painting was done, with the angel and virgin Mary. So in effect there are two copies. One at The Louvre and one in Milan. ‘

The Last Supper was originally painted with mixed pigments and tempura straight onto a dry wall. This meant that it bean to flake before it was even finished. The painting we see today contains little of the original paint.

Finally the film comes to the Mona Lisa and the secrets revealed behind her facade will astound you.

This virtual tour is a beautiful, meditative experience altogether too.

★★★★

In Cinemas Now.

Reviewed by Renee Lou Dallow

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