Study for the Last Supper (c. 1494) by Leonardo da Vinci

Study for the Last Supper - Leonardo da Vinci - c.1494

Artwork Information

TitleStudy for the Last Supper
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
MediumInk on Paper
Dimensions26.6 x 21.4 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationAccademia, Venice
Location Created Milan, Italy
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About Study for the Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper, is a masterpiece of the Italian High Renaissance. It was created between 1495 and 1498, and it represents a scene from the last days of Jesus Christ. The painting depicts the moment when Christ announced that one of his apostles was about to betray him.

The composition of this scene is masterful, with a striking contrast in the attitudes of the twelve disciples as counterposed to Christ. They are depicted shrinking back in terror as they hear Christ’s revelation, while he remains calm and composed in the center of the painting. The artwork is profoundly connected to ideas like food, sociability, sharing, and otherworldliness.

Leonardo used an oil/tempera mix on a dry wall to paint this mural. It measures approximately 15 feet by 29 feet and covers one wall in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery in Milan. The work has struggled to survive intact over time; around 17.5% percent of its surface has been lost, and over forty percent had been painted during previous restorations.

In studying for his composition for this work, Leonardo used live models who posed separately for each figure rather than painted them altogether at once. He also made preparatory sketches that showed variations on poses or gestures before settling on certain ones that would convey emotionality accurately.

To conclude, Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper redefined traditional depictions of this biblical event through his careful attention to detail and innovative use of technique.

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