Very Short Fact: Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper

Today in 1999, after 22 years of restoration work, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece The Last Supper is put back on display.

This work had already started to flake and peel off the wall of the refectory of the Church of S. Maria delle Grazie in Milan shortly after Leonardo had finished painting it in the later 1490s using an experimental oil-on-plaster technique that was almost immediately deemed a failure from a technical point of view. The enduring success of the work in the public imagination, however, is due to a combination of the artist’s great sensitivity in depicting naturalistically the varied emotional states of the participants at this Eucharistic drama and his equally convincing spatial setting.

[p. 58, Renaissance Art: A Very Short Introduction, by Geraldine A. Johnson]

Image credit: The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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