The Last Supper
[Name of Instructor]
24 April 2019
The Last Supper
Leonardo Da Vinci is recognized as the most famous painters of all times, who existed in the renaissance era. He is known for his unique style to thematically portray people and environments in a symbolic manner. During the Renaissance period, Leonardo produced a number of famous art pieces which to date remain unprecedented. The Last Supper is said to be Leonardo de Vinci's one of the most famous paintings. It is said to have been painted between 1495 to 1498 CITATION Ken93 \l 1033 (Clark.). The painting is a visualization of Jesus and his twelve disciples over Supper facing towards the audience; before Jesus reveals the name of the disciple who betrayed him. The painting captivates the audience through its mysteriousness of composition and subject matter. The painting has theological and psychological connotations attached to the depths of the characters and the event in commencement. Leonardo’s last supper was created with the ultimate symbolism, reflecting upon the importance of historical and religious facts. The painting depicts the thoughts of the disciples immediately after Jesus announced to expose the traitor, through the expressions those around him. It develops a sense of perspective through its composition. The unique element of this painting is the representation of the psychological states of the saints which are captured and displayed through immense naturalism and individualism.
The paper tends to explore and examine the symbolism and meaning of the painting, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci through a comprehensive analysis.
Leonardo’s Last Supper is a world-famous painting exploring the themes in the religious history of Christianity. The size of the painting is 460 x 880 inches and it is placed in the Brera Art gallery, Milan Museum. The painting creates the effect of a large room with multiple windows that open to beautiful landscapes. In the room are Jesus Christ amongst his twelve apostles. There are four sets of three apostles each. Christ is placed in the center of these apostles. All the people in the painting are placed in a manner to face the audience. It is assumed that it is the night before Christ’s death and the audience is observing a narrative from the supper Jesus had with his apostles the night before his crucifixion. The painting incorporates the essence of the commotion in the apostles as Jesus announces that someone amongst them had betrayed him. The image contains the psychological reactions of those present in the scene and how they react. Leonardo has shown excellence in painting the expressions of each character in the portrait. The apostles exhibit their expressions through their hand gestures and facial expression. The emotions range from sadness, shock, protest, anger and acceptance amongst the apostles, hower Judas is said to be the actual convict is shown in the shadows carrying a bag, carrying the silver from those who asked him to betray or representing his role of the treasures amongst the twelve. Leonardo painted the portrait on the wall with oil paints. It took Leonardo Da Vinci for three years to paint this historically religious masterpiece. The skill is evident from the illustration, space and the focal center of the painting i.e. Jesus. The style of painting used by Leonardo is the fresco painting which is indifferent to the conventional style of painting. However he has also used many techniques pertinent to the era itself, he paints a misty horizon in the background, which was a famous technique used by artists in the renaissance period, known as aerial perspective. Techniques in the paintings are unique to leonardos style as he comprehensively uses colors to differentiate between the apostles and Jesus Christ. The traces of gold and silver in the painting demonstrate Leonardo's willingness to create the work in a realistic manner CITATION The04 \l 1033 (The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci—Complete by Leonardo da Vinci).
The Last Supper is a biblical form of art. He uses colors such as blues, browns, red and darker shades to create a situation of melancholy and sadness by creating shadows. A number of interpretations can be inferred from the painting. The painting is an ultimate resort for the audiences, historians and the theologists who seek to resolve the mysterious to the painting. It associates itself with the religious audience authentically. Leonardo has a unique way of communicating with the audience. A lot of theories in term revolve around the painting, for instance, the figure next to Jesus has been inferred as not as a historical reference of Apostle John but a woman Mary Magdalen, as mentioned in the novel Da Vinci Code and Templar Revelations CITATION Ros12 \l 1033 (King). While this is believed by many, critics argue that the character next to Jesus s Apostle John, However, he may be painted having female features, as Leonardo holds the reputation for blurring the lines between the sexes. Symbolism is largely at play in Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. The symbolic meanings in the work can be identified as a presentation of objects in the painting can be seen. The bread it cut to pieces to be shared, it symbolizes Jesus vision to extend his beliefs for all. The wine also symbolizes to be poured and shared representing his Blood and death. Moreover, the placement of Knife in an Apostles hand demonstrates his willingness to protect Jesus from the traitor. The only person not having a halo is Juda the one who betrayed Jesus, Leonardo serves his own justice by letting in the shadow. Lastly, the participants in the painting are seated in three, three windows and the figure of Jesus in triangular shape uphold a reference to Holy Trinity.
Another interpretation of the art identifies the movement of hands and the loaves of bread in the painting to notes of music, inspired by Leonardo's writing of musical composition CITATION Ros07 \l 1033 (Lorenzi). The attention to the placement of Jesus in the center and disciples around him provides the audience with a balance in the painting. The principle of balance is the strongest aspect of the painting. Leonardi da Vinci created a piece of art so that the audience could relate to it easily without many complexities. The painting sustains the ideology of psychological and emotional realism. Critics criticize this piece of art from Leonardo for his use of the medium for the painting. The fresco method leads the painting to deteriorate during the course of years and hence a major portion of it was affected due to it’s the decomposition and humidity that affected the wall.
Leonardo Da Vinci is known for his unprecedented qualities for exceptional painting and that fascinating intellect that mesmerizes the mind and of the viewer. Many artists in history have painted the last supper however, Leonardo’s last supper surpasses them all. The painting provides a comprehensive view of the religious scripture from Christianity along with its high historical regard. The painting also incorporates the hidden meanings in the painting portrayed through the use of objects, expressions, and colors. He combines realism, emotion, and psychology with the fictional value of the situation r5ather than just painting the act. Hence it can be concluded that the painting challenges both the fictional and symbolic aspects of art.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Clark., Kenneth. "Leonardo da Vinci." Penguin Books, 1993. 144.
King, Ross. "Leonardo and the Last Supper." New York City, New York, and London, England: Bloomsbury, 2012. 187–189.
Lorenzi, Rossella. "Leonardo's 'Last Supper' Hides True Da Vinci Code." Discovery News 2007.
"The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci—Complete by Leonardo da Vinci." Gutenberg.org. (2004. ).
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