DUBAI: Paris’s Musée du Louvre is set to loan Leonardo da Vinci’s “Saint John the Baptist” to the Louvre Abu Dhabi to mark the UAE museum’s fifth anniversary.
The painting will be presented in the permanent galleries of the UAE museum from Nov. 8, 2022, for a period of two years.
One of the most famous paintings at the French Louvre, “Saint John the Baptist” by the iconic Renaissance painter boasts the skillful chiaroscuro painting technique.
Left unfinished at the death of the artist, the painting has belonged to prestigious owners, including King Charles I of England, followed by France’s King Louis XIV, before joining the Musée du Louvre after its opening in 1793.
Da Vinci began the painting in the early part of the 16th century in Florence, Italy.
It is not known whether the work was commissioned or whether the artist himself chose this subject.
“Saint John the Baptist” was kept in the artist’s possession when he settled in France in 1516 at the invitation of King Francis I (1494 – 1547). When Leonardo da Vinci died in 1519, the painting was still partly unfinished – including the right arm and the fur covering the body. Acquired by the French sovereign, the painting passed into the collection of King Charles I of England (1600 – 1649) in approximately 1630 before entering the collection of Louis XIV in 1662. The work then remained in the French royal collection until it entered the Louvre during the French Revolution.
“Saint John the Baptist” was restored in 2016 by the Louvre Paintings Department.