The Last Supper – Italian Renaissance Period
The Last Supper was created during the Italian Renaissance period of 1495-95 by Leonardo da Vinci that illustrated the scene from the last days of Jesus Christ before His arrest and crucifixion, described in the bible at John 13:21-31. This painting is located on the wall of the refectory in Dominican Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. It took Leonardo 3 years to complete this painting, he began in 1495 and finished in 1497, which was a developing ideal for over 15 years.
This drawing is a visual of Jesus at the table sharing a meal with the Disciples. This subject matter goes far beyond the picture. It is not only a group of people sharing a meal but it is very important because it is the last meal before Jesus’ crucifixion. This painting is a mural that uses sad colors to illustrate the mood. The colors blue, reds, greens, white, brown and gray not only caused density to the painting by using the color scheme polychromatic but also brought out the sense of holiness. This painting is also significant because it is when Jesus informs those that are “close” to him that one of them in the room would betray him.
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From that comment, Leonardo was able to capture the reaction of each the Disciples with a puzzled, confused and shocked expression of disbelief. Even with the expression that Judas as his was different than the other Disciples because knew that Jesus was talking about him as he holds in his hand, a knife and his moneybag of silver.
Also illustrated was that Judas was sitting on the side of the table of Jesus while all the other Disciples were facing or learning towards Jesus. This message in the painting was showing how he was not worthy to sit near Jesus. This also showed even more how much of a traitor Judas was towards Jesus. I believe that Leonardo wanted to create not just a mural of his time or that time but a piece that would last from generation to generation which is why we still see it today. The shapes and lines in this photo creates spaces and lines that are ultimately there to create the tables and tablecloths to create volume, as well as the background being kind of blurry which made the focal point to be placed upon Jesus.
Leonardo also lightens up in the drawing and creates a glow like on the main character which is Jesus Christ. This is important because it is about Him and how the lightening provided a holy life appearance where the light is shining in, especially since the table is a dark image. While some stories can be misconstrued or forgotten when looking at this painting it is evident that he is the main character and the dinner was important. Many others were there and all were important however the volume in the picture speaks their importance. As being Disciples of Christ this picture lines up Christianity. Many will follow Christ, sit with Christ some may even betray Christ. Despite him knowing all, the picture shows how brave and confident he is in his role as the savior. When looking over this fine piece of art we have to look beyond the picture and into what the artist created.
After reviewing this painting, there were many visual elements and principles of design that were captured in this painting. This painting would be considered a representational art that contains realistic and naturalistic images and figures. It included such usage of lines, shapes, light, form, space, value, color and texture in the technique in how Leonardo used in this mural. Balance is used in this painting as in an asymmetrical form due to the people on the painting being placed around Jesus and Him being placed in the middle by using visual weight with value and shape. Emphasis is also used in this painting due to the fact that all the viewer’s attention is placed towards Jesus because of the position of Him being placed in the middle of the painting and all the other people are placed around Him.