Paper on The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

Date:  2021-04-19 22:40:16
4 pages  (902 words)
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The Last Supper is one of the most widely recognized sculptures in the field of art. Learnado da Vinci created the work during the renaissance period. The painting measures approximately 460cm * 880 cm and covers a long wall in a dining hall in a monastery in Milan, Italy. The artist employed the use of tempera mix of oil on a dry wall as the main material. Therefore, the piece resembles a wooden panel because Learnado sealed the stone wall surface before painting it. The focal point is at the center of the painting.

Was the art made to evoke a certain response? What was your response to it?

The art aims at portraying a pictorial representation of the apostles of Jesus as depicted in the New Testament. To a large extent, the work is relevant to Christians who are conversant with the scripture relating to the Lords Supper in the Bible. As a result, Lernado expected that the audience would learn the various reactions of the disciples when he told them that one of apostles would betray him. It appears that most of the disciples express a feeling of shock and anger after hearing the news. In particular, I was amazed at the way Learnado displayed the work in a fashion that allows the viewers to scan every characters response in a unique manner.

Where was the art located?

The original artwork is located in Milan, Italy. However, several copies of the piece are available online, American museums such as Delaware and New York, and British Museum. In order to complete this project, I visited the New York Museum to view the sculpture.

Who was the intended audience?

The intended audience of the artwork was the Christians who lived in Italy. Moreover, the artist expected that scholars and students in religious studies would offer a new or critical response to the artwork. Notably, by including Judas in the painting, Learnado captured the attention of learners and tutors of the renaissance period because most of the previous pieces excluded Judas in their works. In fact, it appears that the artist wanted to add new facial expressions and reactions of the disciples to critique previous paintings for not personifying all the characters (Steinberg 33).

How do people interact with it?

Individuals interact with the artwork in various ways. First, Learnado uses a biblical excerpt to communicate with Christians and their leaders. Second, he employs different artistic elements that help the audience to decode the message. For instance, he demonstrates the authority of Jesus by depicting him in a triangular shape. Additionally, the shape is expressive of the divine trinity as described in the Bible. In most of his major works, the artist used geometric shapes not only to form the painting, but also to initiate a dialogue concerning it (Steinberg 38). Therefore, the audience is able to interact with the image by viewing the shapes that the different representations exhibit.

What is the history of the piece of art? Where did it come from? Has it moved? Who paid for it? Can it be sold?

The sculpture under discussion took three years to complete. It was created following a command by Ludovico il Moro to Learnado da Vinci to paint the wall of the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie which was located in Milan. In particular, Ludovico requested Learnado to paint a dining hall which was directly adjacent to a church. He was supposed to create a piece that elaborated the Lords Supper, but he chose to focus on the moment when Jesus announced that one of his disciples would betray him. Largely, the picture was completed as part of Ludovicos plan to renovate the church and the convent buildings. The artwork in New York came from Italy during a museum exhibition. The original piece has not moved since it was created. However, different renovators have attempted to restore the image because some of the parts have been eroded with time due to bombings and other human activities. Therefore, some of the re-paintings are located in the ceilings and wall hangings. The piece cannot be sold because it is owned by the Italian government through the Milan museum.

Who decided it was art? Who controls it?

Largely, Ludovico influenced the completion of the piece through his direction to Learnado to complete it. In fact, he was the initiator of the project through which he intended to decorate the church and other buildings around it. However, the painting was not of high quality because it started to deteriorate in value and appearance even when Learnado was alive. The Milan Museum controls the image and authorizes its viewing. Currently, a maximum of 25 persons are allowed to visit the site and view it for only 15 minutes. Additionally, the museum ensures that the painting is maintained at room temperatures.

Do you think the artwork you have chosen allows certain people to form or maintain relationships of power?

Yes. Learnado intentionally places the main character, Jesus, at the center of the representation. It appears that Jesus exercises power over the disciples because his image is larger than the ones for the disciples. Moreover, although the apostles sit close to him, they do make a physical contact with him. As a result, the artist illustrates that Jesus had power over his followers.

Works Cited

Steinberg, Leo. "Leonardo's Incessant Last Supper." (1973).

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