Mobile menu

France, 1516 – 1519

In late 1516, aged 64, Leonardo accepted an offer of employment at the court of the young King Francis I. He moved from Rome to Amboise in central France, where he served the king primarily as a designer – of architecture, festivals, costumes and another equestrian monument.

But Leonardo’s health was deteriorating. In October 1517 he was reported to have a paralysed right arm, perhaps from a stroke. He became increasingly obsessed by visions of a vast tempest overwhelming the earth, and made a long sequence of drawings of this apocalyptic deluge, sweeping all matter away.

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A woman in a landscape

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Designs for an equestrian monument

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Cats, lions, and a dragon

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A design for a dragon costume

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A masquerader as a lansquenet

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Notes and sketches on a deluge

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

A tempest

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

Apocalyptic scenes, with notes

Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

The head of an old bearded man in profile

Associated with Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise 1519)

The Leoni binding