There Is A Rich Story To This World Famous Painting!
This painting from Leonardo Da Vinci is probably his most famous. However little is publicly know how this painting was created.
Here are some 7 facts you might not yet know about – but the most interesting background is revealed in the short video clip.
1. IT’S BIGGER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK.
Countless reproductions have been made in all sizes, but the original Last Supper measures 460 cm × 880 cm (180 in × 350 in).
2. YOU WON’T FIND IT IN A MUSEUM.
Although The Last Supper is easily one of the world’s most iconic paintings, its permanent home is a convent and covers an end wall of the dining hall at the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. And moving it would be tricky, to say the least. Da Vinci painted the religious work directly (and fittingly) on the dining hall wall of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie back in 1495.
3. ALTHOUGH IT’S PAINTED ON A WALL, IT’S NOT A FRESCO.
Frescos were painted on wet plaster. But da Vinci rejected this traditional technique for several reasons. First off, he wanted to achieve a grander luminosity than the fresco method allowed for. But the bigger problem with frescos—as da Vinci saw it—was that they demanded the painter rush to finish his work before the plaster dried.
4. DA VINCI USED A BRAND NEW TECHNIQUE ON HIS FUTURE MASTERPIECE.
In order to spend all the time he needed to perfect every detail, da Vinci invented his own technique, using tempera paints on stone. He primed the wall with a material that he hoped would accept the tempera and protect the paint against moisture.
5. VERY FEW OF DA VINCI’S ORIGINAL BRUSHSTROKES REMAIN.
Although the painting itself was beloved, da Vinci’s tempera-on-stone experiment was a failure. By the early 16th century, the paint had started to flake and decay, and within 50 years, The Last Supper was a ruin of its former glory. Early restoration attempts only made it worse.
Vibrations from Allied bombings during World War II further contributed to the painting’s destruction. Finally, in 1980, a 19-year restoration effort began. The Last Supper was ultimately restored, but it lost much of its original paint along the way.
6. A HAMMER AND NAIL HELPED DA VINCI ACHIEVE THE ONE-POINT PERSPECTIVE.
Part of what makes The Last Supper so striking is the perspective from which it’s painted, which seems to invite the viewer to step right into the dramatic scene. To achieve this illusion, da Vinci hammered a nail into the wall, then tied string to it to make marks that helped guide his hand in creating the painting’s angles.
The spilled salt before Judas has been said to represent his betrayal, or alternately, is seen as a sign of his bad luck in being the one chosen to betray. The fish served has similarly conflicted readings. If it is meant to be eel, it might represent indoctrination and thereby faith in Jesus. However, if it’s herring, then it could symbolize a nonbeliever who denies religion.
7. WANT TO SEE THE LAST SUPPER IN PERSON? BETTER BOOK (WAY) IN ADVANCE.
Though The Last Supper is one of Italy’s must-see sites, the convent in which it is located was not built for big crowds. Only 20 to 25 people are allowed in at a time in visiting blocks of 15 minutes. It is recommended visitors book tickets to see The Last Supper at least two months in advance. And be sure to dress conservatively, or you may be turned away from the convent.