Although Leonardo’s remains are in Saint Hubert’s chapel in Château Amboise, this is not, in fact, where he was buried.
In his will drawn up by Monsieur Boreau, notary to the Royal Court (the law firm was still in business as late as 1885) Leonardo asked to be buried in the Church of Saint Florentin in Château Amboise.
Saint Florentin, the Chapel Royal, was reserved for immediate members of the family but as far as François I was concerned, Leonardo was on an equal footing with royalty. He revered him. When he gave him Clos Lucé as a grace and favour home he also paid him a generous stipend. All he asked in return was the privilege of talking together.
Leonardo’s funeral did not take place until August 12, three months after his death. Was this because so many wanted to pay their respects? He was, after all, a huge tourist attraction. So many of the great and good came to Amboise to meet him, his secretary had to limit visits to Open Days.
The grief stricken King had Leonardo’s casket brought from Clos Lucé to Saint Florentin accompanied by a cortège of canons of the church, priests from neighbouring parishes and sixty paupers carrying lighted torches.
Leonardo was given the great honour of being buried inside the church and there he remained for the next three hundred and fifty years.
Read more about Leonardo da Vinci and his connection with the Loire Valley in Leonardo da Vinci: The Amboise Connection (available from Amazon).
Post by Pamela
Pamela, a Graduate and Tutor in the History of Art, trained as a magazine journalist at the London College of Printing and has been a freelance writer for over twenty years. She has a passion for history and has published several books on various subjects. Click hear to see all of Pamela’s books.