How Big Is It?Its huge, really - 460 x 880 cm (15x 29 feet). It covers an entire largewall.Where Is It?The original mural is on a wall ofthe refectory (dining hall) in theConvent of Santa Maria delleGrazie in Milan, Italy.
What Does Last Supper Depict?Last Supper is Leonardos visual interpretation of anevent chronicled in all four of the Gospels. The eveningbefore Christ was betrayed by one of his disciples, hegathered them together to eat, tell them he knew whatwas coming and wash their feet (a gesture symbolizingthat all were equal under the eyes of the Lord).As they ate and drank together, Christ gave the disciplesexplicit instructions on how to eat and drink in thefuture, in remembrance of him. It was the firstcelebration of the Eucharist, a ritual still performed..
Why Is the CompositionRemarkable?First, because the disciples are alldisplaying very human, identifiableemotions. Leonardos version, though, wasthe first to depict real people acting likereal people.Secondly, and of major importance - thetechnical perspective in Last Supper isincredible!You can see that every single element ofthe painting directs ones attentionstraight to the midpoint of thecomposition, Christs head. Its arguablythe greatest example of one pointperspective ever created.
How Long Did it TakeLeonardo to PaintThis?He began working on it in 1495, andfinished Last Supper in 1498. This isworth nothing, as Leonardo was aknown procrastinator with a markedtendency to leave projectsunfinished.
Who is in It? Thomas, James Major andLooking across the picture from left to right: Philip are next. Thomas isChrist is the calm in the midst of the storm. clearly agitated, James Major stunned and PhilipBartholomew, James Minor and Andrew seems to be seekingform a group of three. All are aghast, Andrew clarification.to the point of holding his hands up in a"stop!" gesture. Judas, Peter and John form the next group of three. Judas, you will note, Matthew, Thaddeus and Simon comprise the has his face in shadow and is clutching last group of three figures. It appears that, a small bag (of silver?). Peter is visibly when a situation turns ugly, Simon is the "go angry, and a femine looking John to" guy for explanations. seems about to swoon.
Why Is it FallingApart?Leonardo, always the inventor, triedusing new materials for Last Supper.Instead of using tempera on wet plaster(the preferred method of fresco painting,and one which had worked successfullyfor centuries), he thought hed give usingdry plaster a whirl.His experiment resulted in a more variedpalette, which was Leonardos intent.What he hadnt taken into account(because, who knew?) was that thismethod wasnt at all durable.The painted plaster began to flake off thewall almost immediately, and peoplehave been attempting to restore it eversince.
Thanks for your attention Miss Marinés B October, 2010