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The Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci

The Last Supper is an original wall painting by Leonardo da Vinci executed between 1495 and 1497, it is found on the wall on which it was originally painted, in the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa María de las Gracias in Milan (Italy). [] The painting was made for his patron, Duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan. It is not a traditional fresco, but a mural executed in tempera and oil on two layers of plaster preparation spread over plaster. It measures 460 cm. high by 880 cm. Wide.

Leonardo created The Last Supper, his best work, the most serene and remote from the temporal world, during those years characteristic of war conflicts .


Leonardo worked on this work faster and more continuously than ever for about three years. Somehow, his nature, which tended towards colossalism, knew how to find in this painting a task that completely absorbed him, forcing the artist to finish it. This way of painting, so different from the speed and safety required by traditional fresco painting , explains why the painter opted for a different technique and also why it took years to finish it.


Giorgio Vasari describes in detail how he worked it, how some days he would paint like a fury, and others he would spend hours just looking at him, and how he walked the streets of the city looking for a face for Judas, the traitor.

Leonardo explained that men of his genius sometimes produce more when they work less, because their minds are occupied with specifying ideas that ended up being resolved in form and expression.


last days of the life of Jesus of Nazareth according to the Bible narrates. The painting is based on John, in which Jesus announces that one of his 12 disciples would betray him.


Leonardo's Supper is strewn with disconcerting details and for cryptology lovers the work hides an overwhelming hidden message: it does not show the chalice, nor Christ establishing the sacrament of the Eucharist. The disciples are actually portraits of important heterodox of his time, the apostles, they do not have a halo of holiness, he painted them deliberately human; Leonardo portrayed himself at dinner turning his back on Jesus, as if positioning himself against the official version of the Church; Jesus is not establishing the Eucharist, he does not have the chalice of the Last Supper in front of him, it is not a Paschal meal, as the Gospels say, there is no meat on the table, there is only fish and some other foods.
The statement of Jesus "one of you will betray me" causes consternation in the twelve followers of Jesus, and that is the moment that Leonardo represents, trying to reflect "the movements of the soul", the different individualized reactions of each one of the twelve apostles : Some are amazed, others get up because they have not heard correctly, others are frightened and, finally, Judas recoils when he feels alluded to.

In the work the disciples and Jesus appear seated and behind them you can see a landscape as if it were a forest or even as if it were paradise .

For many experts and art historians , Leonardo's The Last Supper is considered the best pictorial work in the world. Even so The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci is and will continue to be one of the most enigmatic paintings in history.



It took Leonardo Da Vinci seven years to complete his famous work entitled "The Last Supper".

The figures representing the 12 apostles and Jesus were taken from real people. The person who would be the model to be Christ was the first to be selected. When it became known that Da Vinci would paint that work, hundreds of young people appeared before him to be selected. Da Vinci was looking for a face that would show an innocent, peaceful and at the same time beautiful personality. I was looking for a face free from the scars and harsh features left by the restless life of sin. Finally, after a few months of searching, he selected a 19-year-old boy as a model to paint the figure of Jesus.

For six months Leonardo Da Vinci worked to paint the main character of this magnanimous work. For the next six years, Da Vinci continued his work looking for people who would represent 11 apostles; leaving for the end the one who would represent Judas.

For weeks Da Vinci was looking for a man with a hard and cold expression. A face marked by scars of greed, disappointment, betrayal, hypocrisy and crime. A face that would identify a person who would undoubtedly betray his best friend. After many unsuccessful attempts in the search for this model it came to the ears of Leonardo Da Vinci that there was a man with these characteristics in the dungeon of Rome. This man was sentenced to death for having led a life of robbery and murder. Da Vinci saw before him a man whose long battered hair fell over his face hiding two eyes full of rancor, hatred and ruin. At last he had found someone who would model Judas in his work.
By permission of the king, this prisoner was transferred to Milan to the master's study. For several months this man sat silently in front of Da Vinci while the artist continued with the arduous task of capturing in his work the character who had betrayed Jesus. When Leonardo gave the last stroke to his work, he turned to the prisoner's guards and gave them the order to take him away.
As they left the compound, the prisoner let go and ran towards Leonardo Da Vinci, shouting at him:

-Davinci !! Watch me !! Don't you recognize who I am?

Leonardo Da Vinci studied him carefully and replied:

-I had never seen you in my life, until that afternoon outside the dungeon in Rome.

The prisoner raised his eyes to heaven, fell to his knees to the ground and cried out desperately:

-Leonardo Da Vinci: Look at me again, because I am that young man whose face you chose to represent Christ seven years ago ...!