Vasari’s ‘Last Supper’ Unveiled at Last in Florence

Following years of restoration, Giorgio Vasari’s Last Supper (1546) was unveiled to the public today, 4 November, in the old cenacolo of Santa Croce in Florence. One of the most devastated victims of the 1966 flood, the panel painting sat submerged in the rising Arno waters for the better part of a day and thus was subjected to both dirt and debris being carried by the fast torrents. 

A composition originally commissioned by the Benedictine Nuns of the Murate Convent, Vasari’s Last Supper has been painstakingly restored by the Opificio delle Pietra Dure e Laborative di Restauro (OPD) alongside support from various other organizations, including The Getty Foundation

Today, the monumental composition features a counterweighted mounting that allows the work to raised or lowered in the event of another catastrophic deluge. Vasari’s Last Supper will remain on view to the public for free today and tomorrow, 5 November, from 8 pm to midnight. 

Further Reading: 

Emily Sharpe, “Vasari’s Last Supper back on display 50 years after Florence Flood” (The Art Newspaper,  4 November 2016). 

Paula Dietz, “After the Florence Flood: Saving Vasari’s ‘Last Supper’” (The New York Times, 4 November 2016). 

First through third image above courtesy of The Art Newspaper/ZEP Studio/Opera di Santa Croce); final image of conservators courtesy of The New York Times/Archives of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Firenze.

Posted by Alexis Culotta 

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