Why the Last Supper painting characterizes the art of Renaissance.

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Whythe Last Supper painting characterizes the art of Renaissance.

TheHigh Renaissance marked the period of the great explosion of artgenius in the history of Italy, but most of the art works were basedon religious events and facts. The Last supper is one of themasterpieces that were created Leonardo da Vinci’s between 1495 and1498 (Esaak 1). The painting depicted a scene documented in the HolyBible where Jesus shared the last meal with His disciples beforecrucifixion. Although the painting has received several criticisms,it is evident that the qualities (including stability, calm,timelessness, and Renaissance forms) of the Last Supper characterizeit with Renaissance at the start of the sixteenth century.

Thereare two factors to depict the timelessness of the Last Supperpainting. First, the painting is based on a significant scenedocumented in the Bible. The scene serves a symbolic conjugation ofthe institution of mass and sacrifice of Christ to save humankind.Secondly, Leonardo, unlike other artists, took a different directionthat allowed him to come up with a remarkable drama and apply hisscientific mind to make a painting that was different from theprevious works on the same scene (Heydenreich 57). This means thatthe painting of the Last super will remain relevant as long asChristians continue appreciating the Biblical scene of the lastsupper. Leonardo used a pale blue color on most of the clothing woreby Jesus and most of the disciples to depict calmness. In addition,the posture of the disciples helps the viewers capture the disbelief,shock, and horror while they listen to Jesus.

Beinga detailed observer of human thoughts, Leonardo managed to put two ofhis thoughts into the painting. First, emotions have the ability tomove the face in various ways, but the whole person should keep trackof the expression of the face (Heydenreich 57). Secondly, emotionsmove men depending on their force as well as the stage of a person.This allowed Leonardo to distinguish between Jesus (at the center),Judas (right next to Jesus), and the rest of the disciples throughtheir expressions of feelings and posture.

Althoughthe features (including calm, timelessness, and Renaissance forms)identified by Marilyn Stokstad are clearly depicted the painting ofthe Last Supper, the painting lacks the quality of stability. This isbecause Leonardo used tempura painting technique, which involved theformation of a thin layer of plaster on a surface that was to flakeand mold (Danielle 1). This resulted in the rapid deterioration ofthe painting despite the efforts applied to reinstate its originalappearance. This means that, although the Last supper was timeless,calm, and established Renaissance forms, it was unstable. Althoughthe stability of the Last supper is disputable, the painting can besaid to be stable in that it has influenced and inspired many artistsfor many centuries since its development.

Inconclusion, Leonardo successfully gave a new meaning the Biblicalscene of the last supper. Although the event is short, it is atremendously significant scene in Christianity. Leonardo illustratedan impressive and dramatic impression of the scene in a way thatexpresses a religious concept in a slightly new way. The combinationof scientific techniques used in the painting illustrated a big movetowards the evolution of the High Renaissance. The qualitiesassociated with the painting and the painting techniques used in thelast supper influenced many painters for centuries afterwards.


Danielle,L. Albrecht Durer, Adam and Eve. DanielleArt.April 22. 2010. Web. October 1 2014.

Esaak,S. The Last super by Leonardo da Vinci. Education.2014. Web. October 10 2014.

Heydenreich,H. Leonardo:The Last Supper.New York: Viking Press, 1974. Print.