7 Facts About The Last Supper You Might Not Know
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most celebrated paintings in the world. The art piece is about the Passover Feast held before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Art lovers are in awe of this painting due to its unique technique. It is evidence of the visionary prowess and ingenuity of Da Vinci.
He ingeniously created blurry color schemes that ranged from light to dark. There is much more about this mural Renaissance painting than meets the eye.
Here are some facts about The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci:
1. Leonardo Da Vinci took 3 years to finish this artwork
The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci is a product of hard work and meticulous planning. The artist took almost three years to complete it. Some say that the reason is his tendency to procrastinate.
However, observers say it is due to his dedication to perfection and attention to detail. He would work non-stop, even skipping breaks and meals. The end product speaks for itself. The timeless beauty shows that Da Vinci valued quality and took the time to achieve the best results.
2. The Last Supper survived numerous threats
The Last Supper is proudly at the Convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. It has survived numerous threats ranging from simple to complicated. Italy encountered a fair share of wars throughout the years. The first biggest threat was the siege of Napoleon Bonaparte across Europe.
When World War II occurred, Milan was a victim of various bombing raids. There were times the artwork was almost blown to bits but was miraculously unharmed.
3. Art critics praise the painting due to its Realism
The Last Supper is known for its emotional weight. It depicts Jesus Christ and the twelve Apostles before the crucifixion. It is when Christ announced one of them had betrayed him.
Da Vinci sought inspiration from the faces of real people for the painting. Then using his vivid imagination he managed to create an atmosphere that speaks to the masses. It is as if the observer sees the event firsthand.
Many can see the confusion and shock of each character in the work. Critics praise the realistic expressions of the characters in the painting.
4. It is not an ordinary Fresco-style painting
The Last Supper is said to be a Fresco-style painting, but it did not adhere to all the rules of the technique. Leonardo Da Vinci did not use wet plaster. He used dry and sealed plaster with added tempera to develop the shading in his work. It made it easier to apply adjustments while he was working on the artwork.
Aside from the versatility to change details, it also made the image look grander. The technique also managed to help preserve the painting in the long run since it has a bit of moisture resistance.
5. Several metaphors and symbols are present in the Last Supper
Symbolism abounds in the finer points of The Last Supper. Jesus Christ's placement on the table is a good illustration of this. The equilateral triangle shape of his body represents his divine status, and he occupies the middle.
Thomas sits at Jesus' right. He's making an index finger gesture. As such, it serves as a metaphor for his skepticism regarding Christ's bodily resurrection.
Peter's deed of wounding a soldier to stop the arrest of Jesus is represented by his wielding a dagger. Finally, Judas is seen in this illustration with an upside-down salt shaker next to his right arm. It is considered a portent of ill fortune in the 1600s. His entire face is obscured by the darkness.
It symbolizes his treachery toward Christ. Judas's hand grasping for food can also be viewed as a symbol of his prioritizing material comforts over spiritual nourishment.
6. Restoring and preserving The Last Supper took a long time
A number of restoration projects were documented between the 1700s and the 1900s. Attempting to complete the task manually can be difficult. The image became distorted as a result.
The problem was finally solved in 1977 thanks to the use of cutting-edge technologies. Infrared cameras, microscopic images, and the use of sonar to scrape off any remaining paint are all part of this method.
Da Vinci's original work was exposed thanks to this exercise. The process took 38,000 hours and only managed to save 42.5% of the original work.
7. There are stringent rules regarding the viewing and display of The Last Supper
Precautions must be taken to balance the necessity to display it to the public with the desire to keep it preserved. Any viewer of the mural must first pass through a purifying air-lock. Contamination of the painting must be prevented at all costs.
All visitors are limited to fifteen minutes of art viewing time, and there is a maximum capacity of thirty persons each day. There are air filters and security cameras in the area where the artwork is on display. The purpose of this is to eliminate any risk of harm from harmful air substances.
The Last Supper of Leonardo Da Vinci is a sight to behold. With the numerous symbolisms, the painting technique, the attention to detail, and the blending of colors, it is no wonder people loved this painting.
The preservation efforts for the mural are proof of its value. It remains popular up to this day. Seeing the artwork in its full glory should be on any art lover's bucket list.