The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci

The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci was born in Vinci which at the time was in the Republic of Florence and grew up to be what many consider the most celebrated painter of all time. He was knowledgeable in a lot of fields from medicine to architecture, and this can `be seen in his paintings. His paintings were not bound in any particular genre, and perhaps his wide technique is the reason why he is praised by artists and non-specialists alike. History has very affectionately recorded the artist’s love and passion for art and on how he spent years working on a single piece in great detail making it as remarkable as it can be. The last supper is one of his most noteworthy painting and has marveled artists for over 500 years (Grieve & Amanda 4). The picture took three years to complete starting in 1495 and ending in 1498 and was paid for by Sforza to be the centerpiece at the Santa Maria Delle Grazie monastery. The painting is of a Christian genre depicting the last supper that Christ shared with his disciples and announced that one of them would betray him. It is this specific moment that the artist chose for the subject of his work endeavoring to capture the reaction of the disciples from the comments made by Jesus regarding his betrayal.

The artist could have easily used fresco for this painting, but this could not capture the detail he was going for and ultimately decided to paint it on drywall. This enabled the artist to make desired changes in his painting as he progressed, an option that would not have been possible if he was using wet plaster as changes cannot be made once the plaster dries. To make the painting more luminous, the artist applied white lead as an undercoat which served to add to the brightness of the oil (Grieve & Amanda 4). These techniques were not new or unique as they had been used previously by other artists such as Cennino Cennini who is credited for inventing this method. His invention greatly aided Leonardo Da Vinci as it enabled him to work at a slower pace the exact conditions the artist was known to work under spending most his days observing his progress. However, it was not until scientists unearthed a previously unknown notebook belonging to the artist that the intricate details of planning came to light. The laptop revealed just how much thought the artist had put into the painting showing a very detailed analysis of the exact position allocated to each of the apostles. He made sketches and wrote the names of each apostle above the allocated drawing each with their final posture and gesture.

The theme of the painting was most likely influenced by the location in which it had been commissioned. However, despite being a religious painting, it has faced a wide range of conspiracies mainly from authors and historians with many pointing to hidden messages (Bahreynian & Aqababaee 45). This hidden messages have not been confirmed and are primarily considered to be individual opinions. Besides, it is highly unlikely that these speculations will be established any time soon as they would harm the integrity of the painting. The commissioner, however, commissioned another artist to redesign this painting but this in no way hurt the original design of the picture. The picture speaks volume for the period referred to as the renaissance which is a period in medieval Europe that saw an enormous change in art and architecture. The most famous artists of all time all come from this period. The renaissance started in Italy, the birthplace of Leonardo and spread to the rest of Europe almost immediately. During this period, artistic genius was realized with competition being a significant factor as they were so many exceptional artists that many excellent artists went uncredited. It was this period that would shift the climate in art and architecture is responsible for much of the change in the contemporary artworks made today. Paintings such as the last supper are some of the most known pictures from this era being duplicated and recreated all over the world for over four centuries.

The last super is one of the most famous paintings in the world and is valued at an extremely high price. As a result, over the years it has become the property of numerous rich and wealthy men, but its legacy has spread to all corners of the world. The praise accredited to this painting is so much that it has become a part of popular culture and a household name with many praising it even though they have never seen the original version.  From observing it, however, one can immediately notice why the creator of such a timeless piece would be very famous (Bahrein & Aqababaee 44). The attention to detail is remarkable, and the painting is so complicated but yet so simple in appearance with the artist being quoted of saying that simplicity is the most significant sophistication. Also, it is exquisite with the undercoat used generating a constant luminous glow which gives the painting a breathtaking atmosphere. The determination and passion that went into the creation of this painting can almost be touched as it is very evident in each brush stroke. Over the years, many have tried to make the painting private property but have been disappointingly unsuccessful as the value of the painting grows by the day.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s influence is extraordinary, and his artistic genius is evident with the last supper being an exemplary embodiment of his creative prowess. Artists of his caliber are spread far and wide throughout history, and the influence one man had in art is very remarkable. His skill, especially in this painting, has proved impossible to duplicate despite several attempts being made. Contemporary day art might not be as good if artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci had not made masterpieces such as the last supper (Bahrein & Aqababaee 41). His contribution to painting is unparalleled, and despite having lived more than five hundred years ago not many changes have been made in the art of painting, and as a result, his work is considered to be an epitome of an artists potential. He outdid his art instructor growing to be a by far more superior artist, and this made him a fortune being commissioned by various noblemen to make paintings and sculptures. He amerced a chance from his work with his paintings being as valuable in the day as they are today. The last supper is without a doubt the work of an exceptional artist in his prime.



Works Cited

Grieve, Amanda. “The Scientific Narrative of Leonardo’s Last Supper.” Best Integrated Writing 5.1 (2018): 4.

Bahreynian, M. S., Kermani, I. Z., & Aqababaee, E. (2017). Representation of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci in the Postmodern Era Using the Abstract-Minimalism Approach. BAGH-E NAZAR, 14(51), 39-50.