The Last Supper painting by Da Vinci is one of the highest Italian masterpiece and most famous Christian work of art. It shows a scene of the last days of Jesus as explained in the bible (Steinberg 112). The Last Supper show how the apostles reacted to the announcement that Jesus made that one of them would betray him. Even though the painting looks very straightgforward on the surface, it is quite exceptional in mathematical symbolism, dramatic focus, perspective, and complexity in psycology. The artwork is 15 feet by 29 feet, and it is found at the Santa Maria Delle Grazies wall of the dining hall (Steinberg 112). In this piece of work, Leonardo applied an oil paint on the wall. That was because he wanted to capture an oil painting look, but even with time, the painting has been wearing off.
In the painting, the artist created the effect of the room in which Christ together with the disciples seems like an extension of the refectory. Leonard is applying some similar pictorial devices as those of his predecessors at the beginning of the century (Steinberg 113). The scene of the painting depicts figures in a rectangular room with tapestries on the side and coffers on the ceiling. The room ends at three windows, through which a beautiful landscape background can be seen. Such a paint devise, in which the colors of the horizon become colorless and dull, is known as an aerial view. The Renaissance artists applied the device in the creation of a depth illusion in landscape scenes.
In its composition, the center is Christ among His apostles. His body seems to form a triangle that is not overlaid by the disciples. The apostles are divided into four groups, which may have been symbolic to the artist (Steinberg 116). From the painting it is clear that the artist uses a one-point linear perspective, using Christs head as the point of vanishing. Christs head is also enclosed by the pediment over it and lit at the back by the windows opened at the back.
Leonardo Da Vinci commenced painting the Last Supper painting in 1445 and completed it in 1498. Ludovico Sforza commissioned him to implement it in the Dominion monastery of the Church. The Dukes reason for this was to provide an observable appearance to his position in remarkable buildings such as the Church, as well as the grand masterpieces such as the Last Supper (Steinberg 116). Consequently, the church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie was made the court church, where ducal members of the family were buried and home to the popular paintings by Leonardo.
The Last Supper painting is of Renaissance kind. It builds on the early painting traditions of Renaissance in perspective and composition (Steinberg 116). However, it is inventive in regards to its study of psychological states and arousing reactions, all captured in naturalism that was indefinite in the preceding century.
I like the painting because of its natural appearance on the wall. The way the painting comes on the wall seems like a live scene of the last supper. It also appears to bring out the emotional reactions and psychological states of the figures. Consequently, I think the artist applied a lot of creativity in bringing that out.
Steinberg, Leo. Leonardo’s Incessant Last Supper. New York: Zone Books, 2001. Print.
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