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Is Mary Magdalene in Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper?'
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Advance article alerts. Although there are multiple reproductions in museums and on mousepads, the original of "The Last Supper" is a fresco. Painted between and , the work is enormous, measuring 15 by 29 feet 4. Its colored plaster covers the entire wall of the refectory dining hall in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.
The painting was a commission from Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan and Da Vinci's employer for nearly 18 years Leonardo, always the inventor , tried using new materials for "The Last Supper.
Unfortunately, dry plaster is not as stable as wet, and the painted plaster began to flake off the wall almost immediately. Various authorities have struggled to restore it ever since.
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The gospels say that the evening before Christ was to be betrayed by one of his disciples, he gathered them all together to eat and to tell them that he knew what was coming that he would be arrested and executed. There, he washed their feet, a gesture symbolizing that all were equal under the eyes of the Lord. As they ate and drank together, Christ gave the disciples explicit instructions on how to remember him in the future using the metaphor of food and drink.
Christians consider it as the first celebration of the Eucharist, a ritual still performed today. This Biblical scene had certainly been painted before, but in Leonardo's "The Last Supper" the disciples are all displaying very human, identifiable emotions. His version depicts iconic religious figures as people rather than saints who are reacting to the situation in a human way. Furthermore, the technical perspective in "The Last Supper" was created such that every single element of the painting directs the viewer's attention straight to the midpoint of the composition, Christ's head.
It is arguably the greatest example of one-point perspective ever created.
Last Supper - Wikipedia
It illustrates the first few seconds after Christ told his apostles that one of them would betray him before sunrise. The 12 men are depicted in small groups of three, reacting to the news with differing degrees of horror, anger, and shock.
In "The Last Supper," the figure at Christ's right arm does not possess an easily-identified gender. He's not bald, or bearded, or anything we visually associate with "masculinity. There are three very good reasons why Leonardo was likely not depicting Mary Magdalene. Although she was present at the event, Mary Magdalene wasn't listed among the people at the table in any of the four Gospels. According to Biblical accounts, her role was a minor supporting one. She wiped feet. John is described as eating at the table with the others.
Late 15th-century Catholic Rome was not a period of enlightenment with regard to competing religious beliefs. The Inquisition began in the late 12th century France.