Complete Guide To The Last Supper Painting
The Last Supper Painting | Details
Official Title : The Last Supper (Italian: Il Cenacolo)
Artist : Leonardo da Vinci
Year : 1495–1498
Media : Tempera on gesso, pitch, and mastic
Dimensions : 460 cm × 880 cm (181 in × 346 in)
Location : Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy
About the Last Supper Painting
Medium Used to Create The Last Supper Painting
During the time of the Renaissance, when the Last Supper was painted, the fresco was a popular method used to paint walls. The artist must quickly paint over each day's fresh plaster before it cures and permanently adheres the color to the wall in a fresco painting. Fresco painting was not ideal for Leonardo as he was a perfectionist and takes time with his work. Leonardo chose to use an experimental method that involved two layers of dry preparatory ground and tempera or oil paint.
As a result, the paint started to flake within a few years since the pigments were not securely bonded to the wall. The painting has sustained significant damage over the years and the refectory which houses the painting has been converted to a temperature-controlled setting to stop further degeneration.
Composition of The Last Supper Painting
The apostles were typically portrayed as silently seated in a row at the table in traditional depictions of this biblical story, which Leonardo's image greatly departs from. The apostles are reeling in fear as they receive the insight after Christ has pronounced his upcoming betrayal. In stark contrast, Christ observes the chaos while remaining composed and resigned.
On his left and right, the twelve apostles naturally form groups of three and are connected by gestures and movements. It is a seamless blending of motions, that brings about an aura of life and chaos in a painting. A crisp light illuminates the area, bringing out each object in analytic clarity. The clever use of perspective in the Last Supper painting draws our attention to the center, which is dominated by the calm and reserved figure of Jesus.
Where is the Last Supper Painting Located?
History of the Last Supper Painting
Damage and Deterioration to The Last Supper Painting
Only 10 years after its completion, in 1517, Da Vinci's The Last Supper began to deteriorate. Tempera paint, which was employed on the drywall surface of the church, is assumed to have been the immediate cause of corrosion. The Santa Maria delle Grazie's altitude also renders the location susceptible to humidity and flooding.
The irregular arch-shaped structure near the painting's center base is the remnant of a doorway that was cut through it in 1652 and then bricked up. The Last Supper painting's home, the refectory, served as an armory and stable for anti-clerical French revolutionary forces in 1796. The refectory was bombed by the Allies on August 15, 1943, during World War II; protective sandbagging shielded the painting from bomb splinters but caused mild vibration damage.
Last Supper Painting Restoration Efforts
Pinin Brambilla Barcilon started the most significant restoration effort in 1978. The Last Supper painting had a thorough quality inspection, and Pinin Brambilla Barcilon was appointed to clean the painting's surface and then take care of any lingering effects of earlier conservation attempts. Watercolor paint was used to fill in severely damaged sections. To reduce the impact of potential environmental contamination on the artwork, the refectory was converted to a climate-controlled anti-humidity chamber.
The Last Supper painting was opened to the public on May 28, 1999, after a 21-year restoration process. Visitors had a 15-minute window and had to make reservations. The striking alterations in colors, tones, and even some facial forms caused much debate when it was first displayed to the public.
Last Supper Painting Facts
- Da Vinci used a hammer and nail to get the perspective right for his Last Supper painting.
- The Last Supper painting has undergone major restoration and has been subject to many restoration efforts.
- There are three early copies of the Last Supper painting.
- Even though the Last Supper is painted on a wall, it is not a fresco.
Early Copies of The Last Supper Painting
You can notice elements in this replica that are no longer visible in the original, like the salt cellar next to Judas's right arm. Jesus' feet are also visible, which were obscured in the original when a door was incorporated into the wall that the original Last Supper painting was painted on.
Year : 1515-20
Medium : Oil on canvas
Location : Royal Academy of Arts, London
The replica of "The Last Supper" has been residing in Tongerlo Abbey since 1545. The American scholar, art historian, and Da Vinci specialist Jean-Pierre Isbouts asserts that the artist himself painted John's face. His conclusions are drawn from the most recent scans performed at the IMEC research facility in Heverlee.
Year : 1520
Medium : Oil on Canvas
Location : Leonardo da Vinci Museum of the Tongerlo Abbey, Belgium
Milanese painter Cesare da Sesto (1477–1523) was one of Leonardo da Vinci's first students and followers. He produced a lot of replicas of Leonardo, who was his inspiration. This led to one of the existing copies of the original Last Supper painting.
Year : 1550
Medium : Oil on Canvas
Location : Church of St. Ambrogio in Ponte Capriasca, Switzerland
Last Supper in Modern Art
In his 1955 painting The Sacrament of the Last Supper, Salvador Dal reimagined the Last Supper painting in his style. It carries the Dali style and takes on a surrealistic approach on a very popular subject. It is one of the most popular paintings in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Warhol's final and largest series of paintings is the reinterpretation of the Last Supper painting by Leonardo da Vinci. The artwork of Andy Warhol, produced in 1986–1987, is a great summary of his central theme and the culmination of a career in which subversion and irony are the ultimate guiding principles. These iconic mass-produced images of one of the most iconic images in art history combine fine art and Pop art. Warhol was drawn to Leonardo's iconic paintings because they fit his aesthetic philosophy of elevating commonplace, instantly recognizable imagery to the level of fine art.
Francis Newton Souza
The Last Supper by Francis Newton Souza, which was painted in 1990, boldly builds up on the original themes and concepts. Anxiety and dismay is depicted by the Apostle's distorted and deformed visage in Souza's iteration of the Last Supper painting. The white-jacketed person at Jesus's left in Souza's painting echoes John's melancholy, downward-looking stare from Leonardo's masterpiece. Christ features a calm and relaxed figure in the 15th-century conception, while Souza's figure looks straight at the audience.
How to View the Last Supper in Milan?
Frequently Asked Questions About The Last Supper Painting
A. The original Last Supper painted by Leonardo da Vinci is located in the north wall of the refectory in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
A. The Last Supper was painted as part of a project to repair the church and its structures by Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan.
A. The Last Supper painting depicts concepts of realism and classicism which define the renaissance movement.
A. The Last Supper painting captures the moment Christ tells his Apostles that one of them will betray him
A. da Vinci was around forty-three years old when he painted The Last Supper,
A. Leonardo da Vinci used an oil/tempera mix and applied it to a dry wall to create the Last Supper painting.
A. The Last Supper painting measures 460 cm × 880 cm (180 in × 350 in) and covers the north wall of the refectory at the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.