Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper is one of the world’s most famous works of art.
Located in the refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie church in Milan, the painting depicts Jesus’s final meal with his disciples. It’s a remarkable work of art that has captivated people for centuries.
But there are still many facts and myths surrounding the painting that people may not know about. Let’s explore five facts and myths about da Vinci’s Last Supper and explain why you should buy a ticket to see the painting.
Whether you’re an art lover or a curious tourist, the Last Supper is an experience you won’t miss. With its fascinating history, beautiful composition, and endless mysteries, this painting captivates your imagination and inspires you in ways you never thought possible.
So, don’t wait – buy a ticket to the Last Supper today and prepare for a journey into the heart of Renaissance art and culture.
Fact 1: It is not a fresco
One of the most common misconceptions about the Last Supper is that it is a fresco. However, this is not the case. A fresco is a painting done on wet plaster, and while it can be pretty durable, it has its limitations.
On the other hand, the Last Supper was painted on a dry wall using oil and tempera paints, giving it a different texture and longer lifespan. It also means it is more fragile and must be protected from humidity and other environmental factors.
Fact 2: It is not the only version of the Last Supper
While da Vinci’s Last Supper is certainly the most famous depiction of the event, it’s not the only one. Many other artists have painted versions of the Last Supper, each with unique interpretations and styles.
Some of the most famous of these include works by Tintoretto, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Juan de Juanes. These other versions of the Last Supper depict the event differently, with different lighting, settings, and interpretations of the characters.
Fact 3: The painting has undergone several restorations
The Last Supper is approximately 500 years old, so it’s not strange that it’s changed. Since its creation, the painting has been restored multiple times, most recently in the 1990s.
Environmental damage was corrected and cleaned during these restorations to reveal more of its original color and detail. The restorations were criticized for being excessively forceful and damaging the painting.
Fact 4: The painting’s proportions are based on mathematics
One of the fascinating things about the Last Supper is how da Vinci used mathematics to create the painting. He used linear perspective to create the illusion of depth and space. He also used mathematical ratios to determine the proportions of the figures in the painting.
For example, the height of the table in the painting is exactly two-thirds the height of the figures, and the vanishing point of the painting is located at the exact center of the composition.
Fact 5: The painting’s figures are based on real people
Another interesting fact about the Last Supper is that the figures in the painting are based on real people. Da Vinci used models to pose for the figures, and he went to great lengths to ensure that each character was unique and had their expression and gesture.
For example, the character of Judas is depicted with his hand reaching toward the plate of food, while the other apostles are shown with their hands up in surprise and shock.
Myth 1: There is a hidden message in the painting
One of the most popular myths about the Last Supper is that the painting has a hidden message. Some people believe that da Vinci used the painting to convey a secret code or message, such as the idea that Mary Magdalene was the true leader of the Christian church.
However, there is little evidence to support these theories, and most art historians believe that the painting was intended simply to depict the story of the Last Supper.
Myth 2: The painting was completed in a single sitting
Another common myth about the Last Supper is that da Vinci completed the painting in a single sitting.
The painting took several years, and da Vinci worked on it gradually. He was known for his meticulous attention to detail, and he often spent hours studying his models and experimenting with different techniques before committing them to the canvas.
Myth 3: The painting is in perfect condition
The Last Supper could be more flawless, but recent renovations have helped. Humidity, warping, and flaking paint have plagued it. Visitors have worn the painting down, requiring protection measures like glass barriers.
Myth 4: The painting is identical to the scene in the Bible
The Last Supper’s painting is based on the Bible, although it’s not a replica. Da Vinci arranged the characters around the table and used light and shadow to add drama. In addition, the biblical account does not include the painting’s use of three-dimensional space or the table’s items.
Myth 5: The painting has a single, definitive interpretation
The Last Supper can be interpreted in numerous ways. Some regard it as a simple depiction of a biblical event, while others consider it a comment on Renaissance Italy’s political and social milieu.
Some interpret it as a statement on human relationships and their problems. Its meaning will undoubtedly remain disputed for years.
The Last Supper is an incredible work of art that has fascinated people for centuries. Whether you’re a fan of art, history, or religion, there is something in the painting to capture your interest.
And if you’re ever in Milan, through its rich symbolism and complex composition, the painting speaks to us about the human experience in a timeless and universal way. It is highly recommended to buy a ticket to see it yourself – it’s an experience you’ll always remember.