The Last Supper in Todays Culture

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Ry Hayler
Great Moments in Art
Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper is a particularly well known painting to say the least. The painting depicts the last supper being shared by Jesus Christ and his 12 disciples. The painting represents the moment when Jesus Christ tells his disciples that one of them will betray him. The painting was made using a technique known as fresco, which caused the painting to deteriorate quickly. The painting was eventually restored and has been copied many times. Even in today’s culture, countless renditions are done of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper; many of the renditions take popular icons and have them mimic Jesus Christ and his disciples. Renditions of the painting vary from new painting styles all the way to scenes in a movie. The artwork I have selected is from the opening credits of a movie known as “Watchmen”. I believe the scene is a good representation of Leonardo’s The Last Supper in today’s pop culture.

The movie “Watchmen” is based on a comic book in where superheroes exist in an alternate reality of the 1980’s. Though none of the superheroes actually have superpowers, they are called superheroes throughout the movie and comic book since they represent a super task force for crime. In the movie, the superheroes are trying to keep the world from starting a nuclear war. The opening credits of the movie show 20th century historical events in the United States that have actually happened, but most have a slight twist to them. The superheroes are involved in these historical events as if they had actually been there. The opening credits consist of slow motion events; there is even one of Andy Warhol showing off one of his famous paintings of Marilyn Monroe. However, instead of having the Marilyn Monroe in the paintings, it was one of the superheroes known as Night Owl. The opening credits are full of these slight twists on actual historical events. One of the scenes shows the superheroes around a table having a feast in celebration of one their colleagues retirements. At first glance it seems that the scene just shows a feast going on during a retirement party for one of the superheroes, but when the scene is actually observed, it can be seen that the director of the movie wanted to replicate Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Though the scene does not contain 12 disciples as in Leonardo’s painting, it does show the correct positions of most of the disciples. The people around the table are known as the Minutemen. The group consists of eight superheroes; Silhouette, Mothman, Dollar Bill, Nite Owl, Captain Metropolis, the Comedian, Silk Spectre, Hooded Justice. This is the reason there is not 12 people around the table, it would not have made sense to throw in more people to make up the whole 12 disciples. Though in the scene there are actually nine people at the table and one of the eight superheroes is not there. One of the extra people is not a superhero but is still important part of the Minutemen. His name is Laurence Schexnayder and he was the manager for the Minutemen. The other extra person is a nurse and is Silhouette’s lover. The reason Dollar Bill is not in the scene is due to him being shot during a bank robbery before Sally Jupiter had decided to retire.

Instead of having a more shocked and agitated sight as seen in The Last Supper, the Watchmen scene has a more celebratory and happy mood to it. Even though the scene has a different mood than Leonardo’s painting and is not a perfect rendition of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, it can still be seen that the characters were placed well around the table somewhat according to their roles. At the far left end of the table is Mothman standing with both hands on the table in very similar posture as Bartholomew in Leonardo’s painting. Next are Silhouette and her lover in fairly the same place as James Minor and Andrew. However, Silhouette and the nurse are in a more intimate position, instead of a...
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