Louvre Celebrates Da Vinci's Anniversary With New Exhibit—And Immersive Virtual Reality Experience

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Tickets are on sale now.

A bucket list item for many is seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris. While it's one of Leonardo Da Vinci's most famous works, it's certainly not his only one. So, to honor the 500th anniversary of the master artist's death, the famed museum is opening a new exhibit Thursday showcasing some 160 works.

"We wished, in order to pay homage to the artist, to be able to show the entirety of Leonardo Da Vinci's career and his development and to explain, ultimately, the sense of his life," curator Vincent Delieuvin told The Associated Press.

Antoine Mongodin/Courtesy Musée du Louvre

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The exhibit will include pieces from the Louvre's permanent collection as well as ones from other institutions and include everything from studies and scientific sketches to masterpieces. Famous works like La Belle Ferronniere, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, Portrait of a Musician, and Benois Madonna will all be showcased. The museum also put out a request for the Salvator Mundi but have not received it since it sold in 2017 for $450 million to an anonymous buyer. 

From left: Michel Urtado/Courtesy Musée du Louvre; René-Gabriel Ojéda//Courtesy Musée du Louvre

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Works from other artists in the Italian master's circle will also be on display to give the best possible insight into Da Vinci. A virtual reality experience will take visitors behind the scenes of the Mona Lisa. And there will be a room dedicated to his scientific creations. Overall, the exhibit will follow a biographical flow following Da Vinci from apprenticeship to his death in 1519. 

From Left: Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana/Courtesy Musée du Louvre; The State Hermitage Museum/Courtesy Musée du Louvre

"A Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit is very difficult to do since Da Vinci has become a symbol," Delieuvin said. "Leonardo Da Vinci, he is one of those rare men, those personalities who fascinate us, because he was universal." 

Antoine Mongodin/Courtesy Musée du Louvre

The exhibit runs through February 24, 2020, and visitors must reserve tickets online in advance. As of Monday, the Louvre had already pre-sold 220,000 tickets.