Thursday, January 24, 2013

Italian Renaissance (pt. 8)

One of da Vinci's most famous images is that of the Last Supper, a fresco painted on a wall in a monastery in Milan, Italy.  The fresco began flaking off almost immediately after the paint was applied because da Vinci the scientist experimented with egg tempera (which did not mix well with plaster), and this is why it is in such poor condition today.
It utilizes one-point linear perspective (as we discussed earlier with Masaccio); this time Christ is the center of the composition.  It is, rather than really telling a story (like the storytelling murals of the Medieval Period), capturing a moment in time.  The fresco is of the moment when Jesus announces that Judas will betray Him.  Our Lord is calm and silent while the others are in an uproar.  The apostles all express disbelief, except for Judas (third from Christ's right), who instead shows a look of anger and defiance—his is the only face in shadow.  The twelve apostles all stand in groups of three, and they are all jammed on one side of the table for dramatic appearance—certainly not biblically accurate.

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