You must have seen Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper painting!
This centuries-old masterpiece has been an iconic Renaissance masterpiece that has been praised, adored but also copied for more than 500 years.
Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper has been one of the most intriguing works in art history. Leonardo da Vinci is thought to depict the scene in which Jesus tells his twelve apostles that one of them will betray him.
Now, if you’d like, Let’s leave you alone with some amazing facts about this magnificent work.
8 Amazing Facts About The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
1- It can be seen as a miracle that the painting survived until today.
This mural, which is an important masterpiece of Renaissance Art, almost disappeared in the 16th century due to humidity and flaking.
Later, King Louis tried to cut the painting off the wall and take it with it in 1499.
The French army used The Last Supper painting as a reflector shield in 1796, although the painting continued to exist.
On August 15, 1943, the Allied Forces bombed the location of the painting, the entire building fell into ruin. Only this painting survived thanks to a protective structure.
The Last Supper painting of Leonardo da Vinci (1495-1498), who survived so much trouble, miraculously survived until today.
2- The Last Supper represents the culmination of the career of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the world’s greatest artists.
Despite years of hard work and all the obstacles, Da Vinci finally achieved success and fame thanks to this artwork. This painting gave him all the glamor he wanted all his life.
Although Leonardo Da Vinci had not been very experienced in putting forward such an important work before, he attracted all the attention by creating this work very efficiently and effectively.
After this work, Leonardo da Vinci became one of the most important figures of Renaissance Art.
3- The layout and the perspective
Leonardo da Vinci balanced the perspective construction of the painting so that the vanishing point was exactly at Christ’s right temple. We could say that this points to the physical location of the center of his brain!
He also pulled a rope in some key directions, marking ceiling corners, table ends, floor lines, and steep edges.
The layout of this painting is horizontal, as Leonardo Da Vinci is so well known for his illustration of symmetry. The painting is also symmetrical with all the figures on either side of Jesus!
4- Copies of The Last Supper were also created by Leonardo da Vinci’s students.
Three of da Vinci’s students, including Giampietrino, created copies of the painting in the early 16th century.
Giampietrino made a full-scale replica currently located at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. This oil painting on canvas was used as the primary source for the final restoration of the work.
The second copy by Andrea Solari is in the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Belgium while the third copy by Cesare da Sesto is in the Church of Saint Ambrogio in Switzerland.
5- Is the existing mural 100% da Vinci’s work?
At the end of the 20th century, Panin Brambilla Barcilon and his crew, who were conducting the restoration work of the artwork, used microscopic photographs, core samples, infrared to remove the added paint layers and restore the original as accurately as possible.
Art critics claim that only part of the painting that exists today is the work of Leonardo da Vinci.
All these events bring along the conspiracy theories on the work.
I wonder if the entire piece currently exhibited belongs to Da Vinci, or was its originality compromised when it was restored?
6- ‘The Last Supper’ is an unsuccessful experiment.
Da Vinci experimented with tempera paint on a dry, sealed plaster wall at the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.
The experiment failed because the paint did not adhere properly and the work began to flake off just a few decades after completion.
7- Who’s who in ‘The Last Supper’
8- A mysterious table: Eel or Herring?
Scholars have also carefully studied Leonardo da Vinci’s choice of food in the artwork.
They debated whether the fish at the table was herring or eel, as each had its own symbolic meaning.
In Italian, the word for eel is ‘aringa.’ The similar word, ‘arringa‘, means to indoctrinate. In northern Italian dialect, the word for herring is ‘renga‘, which also describes someone who denies religion.
This would fit with Jesus’ biblical prediction that his apostle Peter would deny knowing him.
In addition, researchers at the Université de Montréal School of Theology, Olivier Bauer, Nancy Labonté, Jonas Saint-Martin, and Sébastien Fillion investigated why the dishes on the dining table were chosen in Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous artwork.
“Why bread, fish, salt, citrus, and wine?”
“Why is the saltshaker tipped over in front of Judas?”
“Why is the bread leavened?”
For example, a traditionally overturned salt shaker is a sign of bad luck. Does the salt shaker tipped over in front of Judas symbolize his mischief? So why is Judas the only one with an empty plate?