During the Renaissance, popular artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci (famous for his works The Last Supper and The Mona Lisa) and Michelangelo (famous for his painting of the Sistine Chapel ceiling) painted the gods or scenes of everyday life. During this period, art became something people could relate to or see themselves in, as well as a reflection of their personal beliefs. Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, painted on in inside wall of a monastery dining hall in in Italy, is an appropriate representation of the period in which it was painted, as it was a time for the spread of Christianity.
OVERVIEW: In The Last Supper, you see Jesus sitting in the center of a long stone table surrounded by 12 men, better known as the apostles. They sit in a large dining hall overlooking plains. The room is dark, but not the area where Jesus sits.
PARTS: The circle of light around Jesus shows that he is of importance in the painting, as do the darker colors surrounding the apostles. The way that the apostles sit, in groups of three, also brings attention to the viewer. Each apostle wears blue in his robes, and so does Jesus, but Jesus is the only one with red in his robes.
TITLE: The title of this piece is very self-explanatory, and tells a very well-known story in European and Western culture. The Last Supper depicts Jesus’s final meal before his crucifixion with his fellow apostles.
INTERPRETATION: This work is supposed to show how Jesus’s words could influence those around him, as well as merely his presence. The apostles all get upset about what he says in different ways, showing just how meaningful he was.
CONTEXT: The Last Supper shows the scene at which Jesus announced to his apostles that one of them would betray him – something unheard of. All of their reactions are different, but the viewer can tell by looking at all of the expressions that the man third to the right of Jesus, Judas, doesn’t look as surprised as the others do, leading the viewer to suspect that he may not be so innocent.
CONCLUSION: Da Vinci’s piece depicts an important moment in Jesus’s life, as told by Christians, and tells viewers that something bad was going to happen soon to him, changing the course of Christianity. This piece is important to what we’re studying because it shows an important moment in Christianity’s history, a religion that spread quickly across the globe in the Renaissance.