Secrets of Fresco by Leonardo da Vinci’s «The Last Supper»

Secrets of Fresco by Leonardo da Vinci’s «The Last Supper»

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The Last Supper
The Last Supper
Leonardo da Vinci – the most mysterious and unexplored personality of previous years. Someone attributes to him the gift of God and reckons a saint, someone on the contrary, considers him an atheist, sold his soul to the devil. But the genius of the great Italian undeniable, because everything he ever touched the hand of a great artist and engineer, instantly filled with hidden meaning. Today we talk about famous work «The Last Supper» and the many secrets that it hides.

Location and history of the creation

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

The famous fresco in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, located on the eponymous square. To be more precise – on one of the walls of the refectory. According to historians, the artist specifically depicted in the picture exactly the same table and the dishes, which were at that time in the church. That he was trying to show that Jesus and Judas (good and evil) is much closer to the people than it seems.

The order to write a work the artist received from his patron – the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza in 1495. The ruler of a dissolute life and was famous from a young age was surrounded by young Bacchae. The situation did not change in the presence of the Duke of beautiful and modest wife Beatrice d’Este, who truly loved wife, and because of its gentle disposition could not argue with his way of life. I must admit that Ludovico Sforza sincerely honored his wife and was in its own way tied to it. But the true power of love dissolute Duke felt only at the time of the sudden death of his wife. Grief men was so great that he was for 15 days did not leave his room. And when he came out, the first thing ordered Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco, which once asked his late wife, and for all stop all the entertainment at the court.

The Last Supper in the refectory
The Last Supper in the refectory

The work was carried out in 1498. Its size was 880 to 460 cm. Many connoisseurs of the artist agreed that it is best to «The Last Supper» can be considered, if you go to 9 meters away and to rise up to 3.5 meters. The more that look at what is. Already during his lifetime fresco author considered his best work. Although called a mural painting would be wrong. The fact is that Leonardo da Vinci wrote the work not on wet plaster and dry, to be able to edit it several times. To do this, the artist paid a wall thick egg Tempra, which was subsequently rendered a bad service, he began to break down after only 20 years after the painting. But more on that later.


The idea works

Sketch of the Last Supper
Sketch of the Last Supper

«The Last Supper» depicts the last Passover meal with the disciples apostles of Jesus Christ, which took place in Jerusalem on the eve of his arrest by the Romans. According to scripture, Jesus said during the meal, one of the apostles will betray him. Leonardo da Vinci tried to depict the reaction of each of the students in the Master’s prophetic phrase. To do this, he walked around the city, talking with ordinary people, they laugh, frustrated, hopeful. And while he was watching the emotions on their faces. The aim of the author was a display of the famous dinner from a purely human point of view. That’s why he painted all present in a row and nobody pririsoval halo over his head (as it liked to do other artists).


Interesting facts

Here we come to the most interesting part of the article: the secrets and peculiarities hidden in the great work of the author.

Jesus at the Last Supper mural
Jesus at the Last Supper mural

1. According to historians, the most difficult to Leonardo da Vinci was given the writing of the two characters: Jesus and Judas. The artist tried to make it the embodiment of good and evil, therefore, could not find a suitable model. Once the Italian saw in the church choir singing the young – so spiritualized and pure that no doubt remains: here it is – Jesus prototype for his «The Last Supper». But, despite the fact that the image of the Master was written by Leonardo da Vinci for a long time to correct it, believing is not enough perfect.

The last unwritten character in the picture remained Judas. Artist spend hours wandering through the most haunts of vice, searching among the people descended into a model for writing. And now almost 3 years later he was lucky. In a ditch lay absolutely fallen in the type of state of extreme intoxication. Artist ordered to bring it to the workshop. The man barely stand on his feet and did not realize where he was. However, even after the image of Judas was written, a drunkard approached the picture, and admitted that he had seen her before. In the confusion of the author man said that three years ago it was different, led the right way of life, and sang in the church choir. That’s when he was approached by some artist with a proposal to write off his Christ. Thus, according to historians, Jesus and Judas were written off with the same person at different periods of his life. This once again emphasizes the fact that good and evil are so close that sometimes the line between them imperceptible.

By the way, during the work of Leonardo da Vinci distracted abbot, who constantly urged artist and claimed that he should write for days now, and do not stand in front of her in thought. Once the artist broke down and promised the abbot to write off Judah with him, if he did not cease to interfere in the creative process.

Jesus and Mary Magdalene
Jesus and Mary Magdalene

2. The most discussed secret of mural is figure of student, is located at the right hand of Christ. It is believed that this is not someone other than Mary Magdalene and its location points to the fact that she was not a lover of Jesus, as is commonly believed, and his lawful wife. This fact is confirmed by the letter «M», which form the outline of a pair of bodies. Ostensibly it is the word «Matrimonio», which translates as «marriage». Some historians argue with this statement, and insist that the picture looked through the signature of Leonardo da Vinci – the letter «V». In favor of the first statement in favor mention of the fact that Mary Magdalene washed the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. According to tradition, it could make only legal wife. Moreover, it is believed that the woman at the time of her husband’s execution was pregnant and gave birth to a daughter, Sarah later, which marked the beginning of the Merovingian dynasty.

3. Some scholars argue that the unusual location of the students in the painting is not by chance. Say, Leonardo da Vinci placed humans on… zodiac signs. According to this legend, Jesus was a Capricorn, and his beloved Mary Magdalene – a maiden.

Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene

4. Not to mention the fact that during the bombing during the Second World War shell, caught in a church building, destroyed almost everything except the walls, on which was depicted a fresco. Although, the people themselves not only took care of the product, but do to him is truly barbaric. In 1500, a flood in the church caused irreparable damage to the painting. But instead of to restore the masterpiece, the monks did in 1566 in the wall with the image of «The Last Supper» door, which «cut» legs characters. Later, over the head of the Saviour hung Milan coat of arms. And at the end of the 17th century refectory, and all we made stable. The already dilapidated fresco was covered with manure and French competed with each other: who will get a brick in the head of one of the apostles. However, there were the «The Last Supper» and the fans. The French king Francis I was so impressed with the product that seriously thought about how to carry him home.

The Last Supper
The Last Supper

5. No less interesting historians thinking about food, shown in the table. For example, near Judas Leonardo da Vinci painted overturned salt shaker (which at all times was considered a bad omen), as well as the empty plate. But the biggest subject for debate is still fish in the picture. Contemporaries still can not agree in opinion that painted the fresco – herring or eel. Scientists believe that this ambiguity is not accidental. Artist specially encoded in the picture hidden meaning. The fact that the Italian «eel» is pronounced as «aringa». Adding one more letter, we get a very different word – «arringa» (instruction). At the same time the word «herring» is pronounced in northern Italy as «renga» which is translated as «he, who denies religion». For an atheist artist close second interpretation.

As you can see, in a single picture is hidden a lot of secrets and innuendo over the disclosure of which is fighting more than one generation. Many of them will remain unsolved. And contemporaries will only speculate and repeat the masterpiece of the great Italian in paint, marble, sand, trying to extend the life of the frescoes.