It is one of the most famous works of art in the world. Originally a request from a patron, the Duke of Milan, Leonardo da Vinci painted his legendary The Last Supper between 1495 and 1498. The painting is rather gigantic by any standard as it measures 15 by 29 feet and can cover an entire wall. There are countless reproductions and the original sits in Milan at the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
The marvel of da Vinci’s painting was that he had his subjects acting in a manner in which authentic people act. Most previous works with Jesus and his apostles showed them in more of a refined portrait and sublime type of setting. The one point perspective of the painting is truly unmatched as the flow of the work all comes together and focuses on Jesus’ head.
The painting depicts the moment following Jesus’ revelation that one of his most beloved followers will betray him to the authorities. While Jesus remains mindful and serene, his disciples are all displaying emotion from outrage and confusion to shock and sorrow.
Leonardo used a dry plaster for the works as opposed to the more commonly used wet plaster for frescos at the time. Because of this, the painting has been falling apart and peeling almost non-stop since its completion. Restoration has been an ongoing matter for many centuries.