Posts Tagged ‘The Last Supper’

A high-tech look at da Vinci’s The Last Supper

July 19, 2020

A copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. Double click to expand

I think the world is in a bad state.   But most weekends, I try to find things to post that are pleasant, funny, beautiful, inspiring or positive in some other way.

I came across a post on Jason Kottke’s kottje.org about how the Royal Academy of Arts teamed up to make a high-resolution, zoomable copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, so that you can examine the painting in detail in a way that wasn’t possible before.

There are two things to feel good about – the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, who could make such a painting, and today’s high technology, which enables us to appreciate da Vinci’s achievement without leaving home.

Leonardo da Vinci painted The Last Supper on the wall of the Santa Maria della Grazie monastery in Milan, Italy, starting in 1495.  Most painters of that period used frescos, mixing paint with wet plaster.  Da Vinci used an experimental technique, painting on dry plaster, which did not work well.  The painting started to flake soon after it was finished.

Monks made a door in the wall, cutting off Jesus’ feet.  Napoleon stabled his horses in the monastery.  It was bombed during World War Two.  Devoted art lovers did their best to restore it, but critics say little of the original remains.

Fortunately three of da Vinci’s students made copies.  The one made by Giampietrino is now in London’s Royal Academy of the Arts, and that is the one that Google scanned.

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