Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper (1495-98)



Views: 6775


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0  License Embed
Embed Options

Copy and paste the above html snippet to embed this video into your blog or web page.

Select a size:
  • Normal
    426 x 240
  • Large
    640 x 360
Where is this painting?
The Last Supper is in a monastery, Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan. Click the link below to see videos of the inside of the monastery.

Jump | More
What's the story of the Last Supper?
As with most stories about Christ's life in the New Testament, the different gospel authors tell the story slightly differently. Here's the gospel of Mark, chapter 14: 10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Jump | More
Things to Look for: Linear Perspective
Christ is the vanishing point of the linear perspective.

Jump | More
Things to Look for: The WIndow acts like a Halo
Leonardo communicates the divine nature of Christ without resorting to the gold halo - a symbol left over from the Middle Ages and the period before this, the Early Renaissance. One of Leonardo's greatest achievements in this period that begins with him, the High Renaissance, is to communicate the divine nature of his figures while still making them very real and physical. Leonardo does this in a number of ways - one of which is to use the window behind Christ to frame him with light - so our eye almost reads this as a halo. Leonardo was the first Italian Renaissance artist to eliminate halos.

Jump | More
Things to Look for: Geometry
In Leonardo's words: "The elements of mathematics, that is to say number and measure, termed arithmetic and geometry, discourse with supreme truth on discontinuous and continuous quantities. Here no one argues that twice three makes more or less than six, nor that a triangle has angles smaller than two right angles, but with eternal silence, every dissension is destroyed, and in tranquility these sciences are relished by their devotees." See also http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/math5.geometry/unit14/unit14.html

Jump | More
Things to look for: A Unfied Composition
Leonardo divided the apostles into four groups of three - and compared with earlier versions of the Last Supper from the Early Renaissance, the figures are much more unified - they overlap, gesture toward eachother, and look at each other. They are no longer isolated figures. This more complex composition is a hallmark of the High Renaissance style. In this early drawing, you can see how Leonardo began to overlap the figures, ultimately arriving at his final composition, where the figures are highly integrated.

Jump | More
Things to Look For: Judas
Judas, who betrays Christ is shown ugly and in shadow, clutching the bag of money he was paid to betray Christ to the Romans. This is a study for the figure of Judas. This story is sometimes also called The Kiss of Judas. Here is the passage from the book of Matthew, chapter 26, verses 47-52: 47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him."

Jump | More
Things to Look for: St. Peter
Peter was originally known as Simon. He was given the name Cephas by Christ, which is translated as Peter and means rock. Christ's words, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church." I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:13-20). Catholics therefore see him as the first in the long succession of Popes. The absolute authority of the papacy, even its power to excommunicate, rests on Christ's charge to St. Peter.

Jump | More
Things to look for: Drama
The poses and gestures of the figures are interconnected and interwoven, and expressive of the different ways that the apostles respond to Christ's words, "One of you will betray me."

Jump | More
0 / 9

A conversation about Leonardo's famous fresco in the monastery of Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan. We discuss the characteristics of the High Renaissance style, the terrible condition of the painting, how Leonardo's version of this subject is so unique, and what makes this such an important painting in European art history.

Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris, Dr. Steven Zucker

Where can one find detailed images of faces in the painting
Where can one find detailed images of faces in the painting

Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper is one reason why he is seen as one of the greatest painters of all time. It depicts Jesus and the 12 disciples eating their last meal together. It is in a monastery in Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan. The Last Supper is an amazing painting in both meaning and history. By “meaning,” I mean what the painting is depicting or what the author wants to convey to the audience. By “history,” I mean what the painting has gone through since it was painted.
To begin, this painting’s history includes its deterioration and conservation. Not long after da Vinci finished, the painting began to deteriorate. This was caused by the process of painting and the wall it was on. The lady in the video referred to the painting as a mixed media “mess.” This is because da Vinci experimented with oil paint, fresco and tempra, which did not work well. He also did not paint on wet plaster, so the paint did not stick to the wall. Furthermore, the wall it was painted on is thin and so water from the outside was easily able to get to the painting. Because of this damage to such a wonderful artwork, lots of paint was applied to it in hopes that the painting would last. This just made it worse. The painting just finished a 20 year conservation, in which the paint of others was removed leaving only Leonardo’s work. A question I had that they did not answer is, “How did they know what was painted by Leonardo and what was painted by other people?”
Secondly, this painting is filled with numerous emotions. Even though I have heard about these emotions before, there are some things I heard in this video that I had not heard. For example, there are four different “emotion” groups (excluding Jesus). The three members of each of these groups are displaying similar emotions. Also, I’ve always wondered how people were able to tell the disciples apart. According to this video, the different/ extreme emotions and body language help differentiate the disciples from one another. For example, Peter is the one lunging forward towards Jesus with the knife in his back hand (I never noticed the knife). The man and woman in this video explained that people say this is Peter because he was like Jesus’ bodyguard and his body language seems to be on the defense, ready to harm whoever plans to betray Jesus.
All in all, I really liked this video. It presented a lot of information in an interesting manor. I also learned many new things I did not know about Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper.

to long

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Are you for real? Please answer this challenge to prove you're not a spam bot.