The Last Supper is the famous fresco painted by Leonardo da Vinci between 1495 and 1497. It is located in Milan, in the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
The painting, which is 4.60 metres high and 8.80 metres wide, has been undergoing 19 years of restoration. In the course of the work, scientists discovered that today only 20% of the original is visible.
Leonardo took several years to choose the models for his Last Supper. See more
Many painters of his time repeated the figures from one work to the next if they liked them. The models were the same, no matter who they were, but Leonardo had a different way of working. He would study the nature and appearance of the figure he wanted to paint and then, when he knew what he wanted, he would go to a place where he was likely to find people with those characteristics. He would take notes of their faces, movements and attitudes, and would not let go until he found the model that matched what he had in mind.
In the case of the Last Supper, he chose his models with particular care. Legend has it that Leonardo found a young man for Jesus Christ who was exactly what he was looking for. The chosen one evoked both life and spiritual strength. For six months he modelled for him.
Time passed and, although the work was almost finished, the prior of Santa Maria delle Grazie became impatient and complained that Judas still had no face.
Leonardo went to the prison, where the condemned men were being held, to see if he could find his model. There he saw a man who had committed many atrocities and was to be executed. It was exactly what he was looking for, his face reflected evil, hatred and wickedness, he had in his eyes a hardness and coldness perfect for Judas the traitor.
About L. DA VINCI
Leonardo da Vinci was born on 15 April 1452. He was the son of a notary and a peasant woman who never married.
In 1466, he began working in the workshop of a sculptor named Andrea del Verrocchio. It was here that he began to paint, sculpt and draw.
Leonardo da Vinci became a painter, sculptor, engineer, inventor, musician, writer and architect, and was considered a great genius. He was always very interested in anatomical studies of the human body and could draw human organs in great detail. See more
He was accepted into the painters' guild in Florence in 1472 and opened his own painting and sculpture studio. His fame began to grow and he was commissioned to produce many different and very important works.
Throughout his life, he was in the service of several dukes who commissioned sculptures and paintings from him, but what really interested him was inventing new vehicles, weapons and objects.
All the works of Leonardo da Vinci are known, but the most famous are: the painting of "The Last Supper", which he painted on a fresco in the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan; "La Gioconda", better known as "La Monna Lisa"; and "Vitruvian Man", a famous drawing of a man with four arms and four legs, in which he attempted to study the human body.
He also made many sculptures, but none of them have survived to the present day.
Although he was always creating and building new works, the struggles that took place during his life, as well as the struggles and rebellions that took place after his death, are responsible for the fact that many of his creations were destroyed, burnt or lost, including his remains that were thrown away in an unknown place after a war.
He died on 2 May 1519 in France.