Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Last Super

The Last Super by Leonardo Da Vinci has come to be one of his most studied works next to the Mona Lisa and a few others. Leonardo painted this mural because the man he worked for, Duke Ludovico Sforza, requested him to do so. It took Leonardo three years (1495-1498) to complete and since he was a known procrastinator it wouldn’t have been surprising if he left it unfinished like many of his other works. Now you might be asking yourself “Okay so it’s the Last Super, so what? Why’s it special?” This is where the painting gets really interesting. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Lets start with where the painting originates. The Last Super represents the night that Christ gathered all twelve apostles to dine with them and tell them that one of them will betray him as told in John 13:21. This scene had been painted many times before but Leonardo was the first to give each apostle very human and life like expressions. He depicted these people acting like real people instead of acting like apostles and saints. Also, Leonardo’s composition is outstanding in this painting. Every little detail in it directs your attention to the main figure of Christ. This painting has captured the minds of artists and the everyday person even today. It is one of the most reproduced paintings in the world. And many people have discovered supposedly secret messages in the painting such as the mysteriously feminine looking face to the left of Christ or that there are hidden characters. Now whether they are true are not you must decide for himself.

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