Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper

4 April 2015
Analyzes late 15th Cent. painting’s style, figures, technique and materials.

Leonardo da Vinci’s large mural of The Last Supper is one of the most familiar images in Western art, even though it has deteriorated to the point where its original magnificence can only be guessed at. The mural has largely been known through its repainted versions, or through touched-up copies that attempt to give some idea of what the original might have looked like. But, the various versions of the picture do little to convey how revolutionary Leonardo’s whole conception was. At Milan, Leonardo created a work that treated a familiar subject, but was a complete departure from the usual in terms of composition, selection of a Biblical text, iconography, use of perspective, and, unfortunately, fresco technique.

Leonardo arrived in Milan in the early 1480s, and made one of the longest stays of his career there nearly twenty years…

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