Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci began the Last Supper in 1495, on the refectory wall of the Sta Maria della Grazie, a Dominican convent in Milan, in the center of Northern Italy, almost exactly one thousand five hundred years after the biblical event it depicts.

It took Leonardo twelve years to complete this masterpiece, which has since been continuously restored and reproduced.

The painting is regarded as the most significant representation of the much-depicted biblical story in which Christ ate with his disciples in a suburban Jerusalem restaurant on a Thursday evening and announced he was about to be betrayed to the authorities as a prelude to his arrest, torture and death on Friday, before his resurrection on the following Sunday.

During this meal, there are three dramatic happenings. First, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet as if he was a common servant, and told them that this is to be the way they are to behave from now on. Next, he told them to eat and drink the bread and wine as being his body and blood. Finally, the subject of this painting is his telling them that one of them will betray him. All twelve apostles have different reactions to the news, with various degrees of anger and shock.

The completion of The Last Supper marked the end of the first stage of Leonardo’s career, the fulfillment of his early promise in the form of a painting immediately recognized for its artistic genius.
The Last Supper
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