UAE artist makes film to honour Leonardo Da Vinci

Sylvain Tremblay documentary follows the painter and art history professor as he discovers the works of the Italian Renaissance artist

To make his students more interested in art history, professor Sylvain Tremblay came up with a novel idea: to make a documentary film about Leonardo Da Vinci.

Tremblay, an accomplished painter, spent two years researching his subject and travelling across Europe to film it. His labour of love The Master Project: Leonardo Da Vinci — which follows Tremblay as he visits places in Italy and France where Da Vinci’s works are preserved — was screened last month at the Chateau du Clos Luce in France where Da Vinci spent the last three years of his life.

Tremblay, 51, worked with the Canadian University of Dubai, where he once taught, for the film.

“We are always keen to find new ways to bring his teachings and learnings to our students. This documentary is one of the ways we are doing this,” said vice-chancellor Karim Chelli.

Tremblay, a former UAE resident who currently works between Montreal and New York, recently spoke to Gulf News tabloid! about his passion project.

What influenced you to create the film?

There’s a subject titled Art History and one of the topics covered are Renaissance Italy. In this topic, we talk about Da Vinci. I wanted to find an interesting story and I decided to start with Da Vinci to explain to my students.

What were the costs of doing the film?

The costs are difficult to be precise. We had to buy 4K cameras and new computers. We spent about $50,000 [Dh183,610] on making the documentary but that’s not it. If we consider the value of time and efforts, it would cost around $100,000.

Tell us about the venue of your premier, Chateau of Clos Luce.

Da Vinci lived at the Chateau during his last three years as he was invited to work with the King of France [Francis I]. Even after his death, the King called Da Vinci as his ‘father’.

How has Da Vinci influenced your life?

Da Vinci is not just a painter. He’s…

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