Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper.

 The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci is one of his two most famous works (the other is the Mona Lisa). It was commissioned to decorate the monks' dining room in the monastery of Santa delle Grazie.

 Leonardo had decided to experiment with various painting techniques and used both oil and tempera painting methods when completing this work.

 The painting of Christ and his apostles covers one wall of the refectory and appears to extend the size of the hall. The lifelike depiction of the figures is equalled by the attention to detail given to the dishes, and to the folds of the draperies.

 But Leonardo has presented the biblical story in a way that had never been seen before. Earlier versions of the same subject had shown Christ calmly dispensing the Sacrament with the apostles sitting quietly in a row, only Judas was segregated from the rest. In contrast Leonardo has given us a scene of drama, movement and excitement. Christ has just declared that one of the apostles will betray him, and the disciples recoil and gesticulate in disbelief at this shocking revelation.

Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper. Milan (1498) (w)

The figures in the painting are; from left to right: Bartholomew, James the Less, Andrew, Judas, Peter, John, Christ, Thomas, James the Greater, Philip, Matthew, Thaddeus, Simon.

Personal Opinion:-

 This picture has deteriorated over the years and is now in a poor state of preservation.  Leonardo's experiments with different painting mediums on The Last Supper have backfired and, perhaps with hindsight, he should have used the tried and tested fresco techniques of the period.

 The painting covers one wall in a hall in the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. At the time of its unveiling we can only imagine the impact it must have had on the monks, they certainly would not have seen anything so lifelike. To the monks they must have felt that they were almost taking part in the Last Supper with Christ and his disciples.

Study for St Peter.

Study for St James.

Study for St Philip.

Study for
St Bartholomew.

                      Copy after Leonardo's Last Supper. Oil on canvass (s)

 This copy by an unknown 16th century artist displays some of the detail which is no longer visible in Leonardo's damaged wall painting. In particular the feet of the apostles can be clearly seen (in the original the damage is so extensive that these details have been almost completely lost.) In 1652 a door was cut into the refectory wall obliterating forever Leonardo's original painting of the feet of Christ beneath the table. This missing part of the mural can only be seen in early copies of the work.

Study of Christ's foot.

Detail (s)
The bad state of preservation is apparent in this detail.

 The painting has been subjected to various restoration attempts and all over painting has now been removed in an attempt to show only Leonardo's original work.

Study for Judas.