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Leonardo da Vinci: Last Supper

 

Background

As explained above, not only was Leonardo an artist, he was also a scientist, and a sculptor. Producing only two major pieces of artwork, the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci is still considered part of the big three. Leonardo even created new techniques in art work with his most famous being the idea of perspective which was really visible in Last Supper. He started the Last Supper in 1494 and finished in 1498 as a patron for Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan.

 

Interpretation

The Last Supper was a reading from the Bible. In this reading, Jesus tells his twelve apostles that he will be crucified the next day. Leonardo’s painting perfectly portrays the surprised and overwhelmed reaction by the apostles and relaxed manner with which Jesus shared this news. Leonardo created the idea of perspective and vanishing point in this painting by having Jesus as the vanishing point, making him the center of attention, and by having the room slowly fade away in the background, which was a technique never used during the Middle Ages, Ancient Greek or Ancient Rome. Leonardo also made Jesus the center of attention by having him stand alone, while the rest of the apostles are in groups of three or six on each side of him. The Last Supper captures the spirit of the Renaissance because it was a painting based off of a biblical story. Since the Renaissance was a very religious time, especially to the Christians, this verse/painting is important to the Italian Renaissance. Also, the painting gave birth to a whole new idea called perspective, which is still used today. Leonardo may have been a scientist but he did produce two great masterpieces that still are adored today.

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