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The Last Supper (Italian: Il Cenacolo or L'Ultima Cena) is a 15th century mural painting in Milan created by Leonardo da Vinci for his patron Duke Ludovico Sforza and his duchess Beatrice d'Este. It represents the scene of The Last Supper from the final days of Jesus as it is told in the Gospel of John 13:21, when Jesus announces that one of his Twelve Disciples would betray him.
16th century oil on canvas copy is conserved in the abbey of Tongerlo, Antwerp, Belgium. It reveals many details that are no longer visible on the original. The Roman mosaic artist Giacomo Raffaelli made another life-sized copy (1809–1814) in the Viennese Minoritenkirche.
In 1955, Salvador Dalí painted The Sacrament of the Last Supper, with Jesus portrayed as blonde and clean shaven, pointing upward to a spectral torso while the apostles are gathered around the table heads bowed so that none may be identified. It is reputed to be one of the most popular paintings in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. SOURCE WIKIPEDIA
Arguably one of the most talked about pieces of religious ART it epitomises a piece of time the artist and many believe in.
This thread is NOT about present day beliefs but about the history of this piece of iconic art.
There are pages and pages of the most amazing 'takes' on this painting, as if it is a gold standard for every field of artmaking............google Images........would've uploaded for your Beth, but not sure which you want, lol...........Leonardo rolling over in his...grave?....where IS Leonardo now?
Purely for the purpose of seeing whether it starts an argument you post about the history of one of the best known religious paintings in the world, taking the opportunity to quote chapter and verse at the same time (while wearing your church avatar, of course). Come on Beth, who is trolling now?
Now, wasn't there some research a while ago indicating that one of the characters was depicted as a woman, contrary to the Bible story. Why would Da Vinci do that? Or is it that just some nonsense out of the Da Vinci Code? Of course, it was quite common for Mediaeval artists and sculptors to include the features of their patrons in their heroic works.
Paul, I did not do it to start an argument but to see if people can discuss religious art WITHOUT one. However it is what people make of it. I spend half my time on these threads on sorting problems that are not really there but made personal.
Everyone is complaining they want to be able to talk art on ANY subject. I am giving them the option to discuss an iconic piece of art WITHOUT making it personal.
I have had enough of closing posts as people have of me doing it. Let's see if people CAN talk about a subject without making it personal and having a go at people who disagree. Let's see if people can do it. So far, no ;)
I think this opens up a wonderful discussion and would love to see more threads like this. After I have a cup of coffee I will be back to join in with some thought. Right now my thoughts are still sleeping
people analyzed that painting to find many weird things. if you were to draw a musical scale across the painting. and use all the rolls and round brown things as notes, it actually plays a functional song. if you connect those notes and make a line going to each, it creates a profile that is supposedly found in small columns in the church. there's also some other things in there that's supposedly hidden in there as well.
Great now I have the MASH song in my head. Cheers Jim.
I don't think you have to be religious to produce a piece with a religious theme, anyone could go paint a picture (good or not) of some religious scene. At the same time, If I were a painter, I wouldn't just go and paint a picture of the last supper or anything of that nature because (and no offense meant by this at all) I just don't care about that stuff, and it has zero meaning to me. Maybe the same goes for others. If Leonardo wasn't religious, he'd probably not have bothered unless he stuck something in the painting being ironic that we just don't get yet.
A little different take from a photographer - I'm an atheist, but love photographing old cathedrals or just visiting them even if I can't take pictures inside. Don't have to be religious to appreciate a beautifully made building and the art inside (sculptures, stained glass, woodwork...)
I think it's interesting how many different views of the piece there are.
The books and movie Da Vinci code are all based on a conspiracy that Mary Magdalene was removed from the painting because she was the wife of Jesus. (not that I believe that's true)
I never heard of the music thing...how cool is that?
I don't know enough about Da Vinci to guess how he would feel about being so copied. ;)
I think copies are revering him...although I have seen a couple mocking versions, he is arguable one of the best artists of all time.
That being said...I think people honor him but continuing to mimic his work.
Are all religious artists, religious? (do you have to believe in something to paint it)
No...I don't think you do. I think if you are passionate about depicting something...where ever that passion comes from, you can portray it well.
However, I think it adds different dimensions to actually believe it. Having an understanding of whatever faith it is can create the ability to add symbols,
symbolic messages are a big part of many faiths.
I know very little about Buddhism....so for me to create a Buddhist piece of art...I would need to do a lot of research.
However I can appreciate beauty and truth in all religions.
I think it's more likely that a person who believes in a certain faith will depict it faithfully. (pun intended)
I think it's like these secrets of the pyramids, or loch ness, ogopogo, bigfoot, it's something that in the long run is making money for someone because it keeps the masses looking at these things.
Now, the Londonderry Air (Danny Boy), arguably one of the finest pieces of music ever, I saw a documentary on the song - the only doc. I ever saw about a song, and supposedly the melody is entirely unique, something like that. It's origins are supposedly unknown. That's a mystery.
In Davinci's time probably no one knew anything about what he knew so in that regard it's a mystery, secret. He was far far ahead of his time.
Now these things are well known - the mathematical structure of music, art etc., so it's no mystery anymore.
However, given that the stucture of this work is so complex, I think that maintains interest in the viewer and helps keep the art fresh.
i can see him putting in music, but when people start reversing his paintings and seeing objects then it just gets silly. i don't think they had transparencies back then. and some of the mirrors they put in are in odd places, they keep moving it around until they see a face. i think it means more when it's set up as a pentimento, where he painted over old stuff and we found it later on through UV photography or xray some other means.
Da Vinci was earning a living by painting what the punters wanted. I don't think you can draw any conclusions about his belief system from that. I know very little about him, but Googling "da Vinci beliefs" threw up this:
"Marco Rosci's biography, Leonardo, notes that Leonardo "adopted an empirical approach to every thought, opinion, and action and accepted no truth unless verified or verifiable, whether related to natural phenomena, human behavior, or social activities" http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1697/was-leonardo-da-vinci-religious). Leonardo himself wrote, “Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.”
Truly, Leonardo valued reason much more than faith. Reason-based beliefs are discovered and verified through the scientific method. The scientific method is when one observes reality with one's five senses, makes logical hypotheses based on one's observation, and then does experiments to prove or disprove one's hypotheses. The vast majority of Leonardo's writings are concerned with observations and experiments. Da Vinci was a great artist, but he might have been a much greater scientist. Judging from his writings, his main goal in life was to know as much about the real universe as he could."
And here are some of Leonardo's own words on the subject (I hope this is allowed, Beth, since you raised the question of whether you have to believe in something to paint it): "Those who try to censor knowledge do harm to both knowledge and love, because love is the offspring of knowledge, and the passion of love grows in proportion to the certainty of knowledge. The more we know about nature, the more we can be certain of what we know, and so the more love we can feel for nature as a whole."
"Of what use are those who try to restrict what we know to only those things that are easy to comprehend, often because they themselves are not inclined to learn more about a particular subject, like the subject of the human body."
"And yet they want to comprehend the mind of God, talking about it as though they had already dissected it into parts. Still they remain unaware of their own bodies, of the realities of their surroundings, and even unaware of their own stupidity."
"Along with the scholars, they despise the mathematical sciences, which are the only true sources of information about those things which they claim to know so much about. Instead they talk about miracles and write about things that nobody could ever know, things that cannot be proven by any evidence in nature."
"It seems to me that all studies are vain and full of errors unless they are based on experience and can be tested by experiment, in other words, they can be demonstrated to our senses."
As for people parodying, copying, profiting from or mocking him, I've seen the first three of those, which are to be expected. I haven't seen anybody mocking him but in my opinion anybody who did would have to be as great an idiot as he was a genius.
I'm pretty sure he would not have any problems with being copied; after all. a copy of the Mona Lisa, apparently made by a student looking over his shoulder as he was painting the original, has recently surfaced in Italy. In his day, mass reproduction of originals was not possible and any hand-made copies would be lacking in quality and so would not affect his ability to earn from his art.
To a considerable extent, there is a "seek and you shall find" element in looking for mysterious meanings in ancient, complex artworks. We are programmed to find patterns and meanings so we do it whether or not they are really there. And why would da Vinci want to hide secret codes in a painting? A hidden joke or two might amuse him, or perhaps a theological comment which only the educated would spot - but organising objects on a table to create a piece of music seems really far-fetched. I'm sure Leonardo would despise the mysticism being woven around his work by the likes of Dan Brown.
I remember people were playing Beatle songs backwards once and finding hidden words. something like that.
I saw this doc. years ago about ancient pottery and when the potters were making it the sounds around them became embedded into the structure of the pottery somehow, and they could analyze the pottery and recreate the sounds, music sometimes, but I've never heard anything about that again.
How much control did da Vinci's patron Duke Ludovico Sforza have in the painting? Were objects included, etc. at the request of his patron, or did da Vinci have total artistic input? These days, if you have a mutimillion dollar sports car commissioned, the buyer gives all the instructions/customizations to the builder as to how it is to be done. From what I have read, the painting was considered a job at the onset, not a stirring from within, so to speak. That's why I wonder if parts of the painting were at the request of his patron. That may or may not make a difference. Fascinating stuff. I much prefer da Vinci's version over all others. Dali's does nothing for me at all. I can't relate to it...
The last supper was a Passover sedar....a religious service, meaning 'order' whose purpose was to remember God's miracles in helping his prophet Moses lead the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt and take them into freedom.
One of the favorite expressions used when God speaks in Torah is this reminder " I took you out of Egypt to be your God."
The site of the last supper was the church of the Dormition in Jerusalem on Mt Zion, in Mark 14:18 jesus says one of his Disciples present at the supper would betray him.and says that before the next morning 14:30 Peter, also his desciple will deny knowing him. According to Christian belief The Last Supper was the final meal that Jesus shared with his Apostles before his crucifixion. Thus the title The Last Supper. Leonardo da Vinci created the painting 1495–1498 with tempera on gesso, pitch and mastic its Dimensions were 460 cm × 880 cm (181 in × 346 in)and is now located in Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan Italy