My Best Moments * The Last Supper - Cenacolo
500 years ago Leonardo da Vinci passed away
If you happen to take a trip to Italy, don't forget about him
The Refectory at Santa Maria delle Grazie is the location for one of the greatest masterpieces of Italian art: Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.
It was commissioned from the artist by Ludovico Sforza, also known as “il Moro”, the Duke of Milano.
The event depicted is described in the Gospel according to St. John, the moment at which Christ, seated at the centre with his Apostles on both sides, reveals that He will soon be betrayed by one of them, which will lead to His crucifixion.
This intense moment creates a tumult of expressions. Some of the Apostles have risen to their feet, some approaching their Master. Gestures and facial expressions, horror and amazement, surprise and confusion, surround the main character.
This is set within an ingenious perspective that enhances Jesus’ central position. By means of the perspective construction, the artist created the illusion that the refectory continues beyond the end wall, so that spectators can imagine themselves as participants in this event.
Leonardo highlighted the importance of the subject by means of diagonals that lead towards Christ. Everything is connected to Him and revolves around Him.
This monumental work revealed its inherent problems as regards preservation right from the start, due to the fact that Leonardo painted on dry plaster. The artist used the technique generally employed for paintings on wooden panels, instead of using the fresco technique. This caused the painting to deteriorate rapidly and prematurely.