The Last Supper

Topics: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, High Renaissance Pages: 3 (911 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The Last Supper was a very powerful Biblical event, in which Jesus and his disciples gathered for one final dinner together. According to the Bible, important events took place during the Last Supper, including an announcement by Jesus that one of his disciples would betray him and the first communion. To artists in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it was necessary to give proper deference to such notable occurrences. Both Leonardo da Vinci and Jacopo Robusti, known as Tintoretto, took upon the challenge of recreating the Last Supper. While Last Supper by da Vinci and Last Supper by Tintoretto are very similar in subject matter, they differ in composition, symbolism, and the choice of narrative moment.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci is the first great figure composition of the High Renaissance and the definitive interpretation of its theme. Jesus and his twelve disciples are seated at a long table that is parallel to the picture plane. The room is spacious and peaceful, and Christ has his arms spread in disposed trust . The rest of the group is in intense and dramatic excitement, with their hands out in shock and question at Jesus' words. The viewer can just feel the tense excitement sweeping through the groups of disciples. Jesus, the most important figure in the painting, has been placed in front of three windows that are in the back of the room, and he is framed by the center window with a curved pediment that arches above his head. His head serves as the focal and vanishing point of this piece, and your eye is immediately attracted to it. Da Vinci has arranged the disciples into groups of three and tied all the groups together through their hand motions giving this piece a symmetrically aesthetic feeling. Your eye is taken on a journey through the oval-shaped composition of the piece, but it is clear that Jesus serves as the vital magnet. The Last Supper by Tintoretto is a beautiful Mannerist-style painting in which the painter creates a...
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