The Death of Leonardo da Vinci

The Death of Leonardo da Vinci by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

The Death of Leonardo da Vinci by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was produced in 1818 and is considered to be one of the famous artworks of Neo Classicism movement. The work can be viewed now at Petit Palais, Paris


Medium: Oil Painting 

Subject(s): death, love, misery


The Death of Leonardo da Vinci is an oil painting produced in 1818 by French painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.

The painting was of one of the greatest minds in history which was commissioned by the French ambassador, Comte de Blacas in Rome.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres painted the death of Leonardo Da Vinci with Francis I of France holding his head and receiving his last breaths. Comte de Blacas was the ambassador of Louis XVIII and an influential figure during the Restoration period. This painting of Ingres was freely inspired by French history seen from the angle of an edifying anecdote. Leonardo da Vinci was invited by Francis I and he had come to France and he died in Amboise in 1519. In the presence of King Francis I, the undoubtedly fictitious story of his death comes from Vasari. The dimensions of the painting The Death of Leonardo da Vinci were 50 cm x 40 cm.

Having dropped out of his studies Ingres the painter at a young age he relied more on his exceptional visual memory rather than his literary knowledge of historical subjects. In fact, Ingres used various famous paintings exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris as models to represent various characters used in the scene when making the portrait. Ingres used iconographic citation which was clearly shown by looking close to the face of Francis I, transposed from the portrait painted by Titian in 1538.

The figure of the dying Leonardo da Vinci was totally Ingres creation. Also, the use of expressive contortion of the neck and on the other hand the beautiful color scheme. This work which appeared in 1550, celebrates the excellence of Italian artist and their work following an ascending curve that starts with Cimabue and ends with Raphael, Michelangelo.


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