Sunday, June 23, 2002

Amboise / Veretz, France

Clos Luce 
This is the manor house that Leonardo da Vinci spent the final three years of his life in. Commissioned by Francios I, Leonardo left Italy in 1516 accompanied by Frencesco de Melzi and his servant Battista De Villanis, his belongings packed on the back of a mule. Amongst his belongings he carried three of his favorite paintings -- the Mona Lisa, Saint Anne, and Saint John the Baptist. On the 23rd of April, 1519, he wrote "No being disappears into the void", wrote his will, and commended his soul to God. On his deathbed he is reported to have wept for having "offended his creator and the men of this world through not working at his art as he should have."



One of the rooms in Clos Luce. This room was probably used by da Vinci as an art studio -- it is likely that he finished his painting of John the Baptist here.



This is the room where Francios I and da Vinci conversed and philosophized. All the furnishings in this room date from the Renaissance.



Another view of the reception room.



Leaving Amboise, we rode to Veretz for lunch before our final ride to Tours to return our equipment and make our (separate) ways onward. Here's the group (left to right):   Susan, Josh, Jan, David, Cassie, Doug, Chuck, Deanna, Glenny, and (our guides) Virginie and Jonothan.   We distrubed the quiet solitude of a lovely French couple who had come to the banks of the Loire for a peaceful picnic... to get rid of us, they offered to take this group picture.

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