Our century is known for organizing the best parties in the world and we can admit it, it is not completely false. But that doesn’t mean that in the past, people didn’t know how to organize a party. On the contrary, things were done in a big way!
At the time of François I people already knew how to party. Whole rooms were covered with gold, giant buffets were served, and hundreds of nobles sang the praises of their king.
Of course, There is no DJ, no glitter, and there is only one star: The King. He is revered by the people who believe him to be the incarnation of God on Earth. He is envied by the court who only dream of replacing him at the slightest misstep. François I, emblematic builder of the castles of the Loire Valley, understood it well. To be loved, you have to celebrate. From this time, organizing parties each one more grandiose than the others almost became a duty to the kings. This last task is important. Organizing court parties means designing, scenographing, creating the sets, costumes, lights and sound effects, inventing the machinery… It is above all to stage the royal power. Giving a party in front of foreign ambassadors – who are as many spies – is a way for Francois I to show his power. So, to celebrate himself, the young sovereign, aged 23 hired Leonardo de Vinci, a man not like the others. He was an Italian painter and a man of universal spirit, at the same time artist, organizer of shows and parties, scientist, engineer, inventor, anatomist, sculptor, architect, urban planner, botanist, musician, poet, philosopher and writer. The king installed Leonardo de Vinci in Ambroise at the Manoir du Cloux, a small brick and white stone castle. He grants him an annual pension of one thousand écus – a fortune! – and honors him with the title of “First Painter, Engineer and Architect of the King”. Leonardo De Vinci is an extraordinary magician. During the three years he spent at Le Cloux – now the Château du Clos-Lucé – he organized at least four sumptuous parties. The most splendid is the “fete du paradis”, which took place from the 17th to the 19th of June 1518.