10 Amazing The Last Supper Facts You Should Know

The Last Supper is one of the most famous frescos ever done in the history of Christianity.

It lies in Santa Maria delle Grazie, a convent and church in Milan. 

Let’s unravel mysteries, dive deeper into the unconventional techniques used, and learn about the controversies about the Last Supper!

Read ahead to find out 10 of the best Last Supper painting facts

1. The Last Supper Is Not A Painting

The Last Supper Is Not A Painting
Image: USAtoday.com

Contrary to popular belief, The Last Supper is not a painting but a fresco. 

However, da Vinci went against the traditional fresco methods to create the Last Supper. 

Instead of using the conventional wall-painting method, Leonardo da Vinci opted for oil and tempera to capture intricate details, allowing him more precision and time. 

2. There are three replicas of the Last Supper

 three replicas of the Last Supper
Image: Cenacolovinciano.org

Three early copies of The Last Supper exist, likely created by Leonardo da Vinci’s apprentices. 

Giampietrino’s version in London’s Royal Academy of Arts guided the restoration of the original. 

Cesare da Sesto and Andrea Solari also replicated it. 

These are in the Church of Saint Ambrogio, Switzerland, and the Leonardo da Vinci Museum, Belgium.

3. Innovative Perspective Techniques

Innovative Perspective Techniques
Image: covecollective.org

Leonardo da Vinci used a hammer and nails to achieve the exceptional one-point perspective in The Last Supper. 

He used a hammer to nail into the wall. He then used strings to mark angles. This ensured the painting’s symmetry and angles provided a surreal depth.

4. The Last Supper Is Not in a Museum

Unlike many of Leonardo da Vinci’s other works, The Last Supper is not displayed in a museum. 

It is preserved in the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent in Milan, Italy, specifically on the north wall of the refractory. 

The refractory has changed. It is now controlled to prevent the deterioration of the environment.

5. The Last Supper Painting Misses a Piece

Last Supper Is Not in a Museum
Image: Tripadvisor.com

In 1652, the Last Supper painting was renovated. 

They cut a hole to create a new doorway for the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent. 

This resulted in the loss of the lower central part of the painting, including Jesus’ feet.

6. Debated Meal Depiction in Last Supper

Scholars have debated the type of fish depicted in The Last Supper. While some believe it to be a herring, others suggest an eel. 

The eel symbolizes indoctrination and faith in Christ, while the herring signifies a person without faith.

7. Last Supper Has A Hidden Soundtrack

Last Supper Has A Hidden Soundtrack
Image: Tripadvisor.com

In 2007, Italian artist Giovanni Maria Pala claimed something extraordinary. 

He said he used chords from da Vinci’s Last Supper. 

With those chords, he created a 40-second ballad. 

Pala interpreted the bread, hands of Jesus, and Apostles as musical notes by tracing five lines of musical staff across the painting.

8. Last Supper Has More Symbolism Than You Know

Last Supper Has More Symbolism
Image: Tripadvisor.com

The Last Supper is rich in symbolism. In the painting, there are several symbolic elements. 

Spilled salt near Judas is seen as a bad omen. Jesus is portrayed in an equilateral triangle, symbolizing divinity. 

Also, watch Philip, Thomas, and Peter- they make symbolic gestures.

9. Last Supper Connects Art and Politics 

Last Supper Conspiracy Theories
Image: Dailymail.co.uk

Art historian Michael Ladwein suggests that The Last Supper subtly ties to Leonardo’s patron, Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan. 

The convent commissioned da Vinci to paint the Last Supper for them and it was planned to be a part of the Sforza family mausoleum. 

This shows the connection between art and politics.

10. Last Supper Conspiracy Theories

The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, suggests mysteries within the painting. 

One mystery is the location of Christ’s missing chalice. 

Some say the person next to Jesus isn’t St. John but Mary Magdalene. 

They suggest Jesus and Mary were married.

#Bonus: a fun fact about the Last Supper

Here is a bonus fact about the Last Supper about the hidden in plain sight, Judas:

Judas, the Apostle who betrayed Jesus, stands out alone. His face is hidden in shadows, representing the complexities of the soul’s motion.

His hands show his dual role: one reaching for bread, the other holding money, betraying Jesus.

FAQs about the Last Supper

1. What are three facts about the Last Supper painting?

Here are three interesting facts about the Last Painting:

1. It’s a fresco but uses oil and tempera. 

2. Three known early copies of the Last Supper painting exist.

3. Leonardo da Vinci employed nails and string for precise perspective during its creation.

2. What was special about the Last Supper?

Da Vinci’s Last Supper is special for its innovative use of oil and tempera. It also stands out for its intricate details. 

Also, the painting’s unique one-point perspective is noteworthy.

3. What is the secret of the Last Supper?

Artist Giovanni Maria Pala suggests the Last Supper contains a hidden musical code. 
He claims to have found chords in the arrangement of elements.

4. Who is the female in the Last Supper?

The identity of the female figure in the Last Supper is a subject of debate and speculation. 

Traditionally believed to be St. John the Apostle, some theories suggest the possibility of it being Mary Magdalene.

5. Were there 13 people at the Last Supper?

Yes, there were 13 individuals at the Last Supper, as depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s renowned painting. 

Jesus Christ is centrally positioned, surrounded by his 12 disciples. 

Thirteen figures include Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus, leading to his crucifixion.

6. Who first painted the Last Supper?

The Last Supper was first painted by the Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci. 

This iconic masterpiece was created between 1495 and 1498. 

It adorns the wall of the refractory in the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent in Milan, Italy. 

Leonardo’s innovative techniques and attention to detail have made the painting a symbol of Renaissance artistry.

7. Who was Jesus’s girlfriend?

No historical evidence or biblical account suggests that Jesus Christ had a girlfriend. 

But, there is speculation about Jesus having been married to Mary Magdalene, his wife. 

There is also speculation that they had a son together

8. Why is it called the Last Supper?

The Last Supper shows Jesus Christ’s final meal with his twelve disciples before his crucifixion. 

This significant event is recounted in the Gospels, marking the culmination of Jesus’s earthly ministry. 

The painting captures the poignant moment before his betrayal and ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

9. Who betrayed Jesus at the Last Supper?

Judas Iscariot was one of the Twelve Apostles. He is notorious for betraying Jesus by disclosing Jesus’ whereabouts for 30 pieces of silver.

Featured Image: Cenacolovinciano.org

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