Artibus et Historiae no. 25 (XIII)

1992, ISSN 0391-9064

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HIDEMICHI TANAKA - Leonardo da Vinci, Architect of Chambord?

The question of whether the original design of Francis I's château at Chambord is traceable to Leonardo da Vinci may never be resolved for lack of documentation. However, the author points out striking similarities between architectural elements drawn by the master-such as central plans, double and quadruple spiral staircases, minaret-type turrets, and windows-and specific features of the château. It is possible that the Italian architect Domenico da Cortona, who was already in the young king's service when Leonardo arrived at the French court in 1516, took over and modified the master's ambitious plans for a palace at Romorantin once these had been abandoned in favor of the Chambord project. The building of the new royal residence began some months after Leonardo's death in May 1519.

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