Leonardo da Vinci: the Louvre Exhibit with Marie Dessaillen - Context Travel

Leonardo da Vinci: the Louvre Exhibit with Marie Dessaillen

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Leonardo da Vinci was a legendary figure that our modern times adore religiously. A man of many talents, he studied sculpture, painting, architecture, poetry, the art of war, anatomy, and natural sciences. He organized parties for his patrons and played music like an angel. Despite his sprawling curiosity, he managed to unite his interest in science and art in his paintings.


“Marie is so enthusiastic, and very engaging.”

His way to achieve ideal perfection was drawing. His time in Florentine sculptor and painter Verrocchio's studio taught him techniques of drawing that he used his entire life. But he also revolutionized the process of creation by inventing a quicker, more flowing line, in movement. He also mastered the sfumato, connecting the eye of the sculptor with it's 3D technique to that of the painter, giving his characters a lifelike quality never seen before. What museums usually show of Leonardo da Vinci's work are his paintings. But his reputation as a genius, recognized by his contemporaries in his lifetime, saved his drawings as well, and through them, we can learn much on the evolution of his creations. We do not always have written historical evidence when Leonardo da Vinci is concerned. But thanks to modern science, we can see past the paint. On the occasion of the 500 years of his death, the Louvre exhibition presented what the research on Leonardo da Vinci has been unearthing in the last decade. We’ll discuss this in our seminar together as we learn more about this remarkable figure.


“She is magnificent - can’t imagine anyone else leading a topic better than Marie.”

Led by an expert on art history, Marie Dessaillen, this interactive seminar will cover the whole career of Leonardo da Vinci and present what we now know of his famous paintings (patrons, secrets of the iconography). Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the working process of this most intense artist, who left so many of his works unfinished in his pursuit of perfection.

The daughter of a sculptor, Marie has been surrounded by art ever since she was born. A native Parisienne, she holds an undergraduate degree in history and art history, with a specialty in iconography and French and Flemish paintings from the 16th to the 18th centuries. She also holds a Master's degree in museology from the Ecole du Louvre and one in Art History from the Sorbonne.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.