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DaVinci’s Last Supper
Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper depicts Christ and his disciples eating together for the last time. The artist's rendition of this famous scene was painted as a mural onto the refectory wall in Milan's Dominican monastery Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Executed in 1495-1497, the work is the subject of the hottest debate on conservation in art history. Da Vinci, ever the innovator, applied a revolutionary fresco-painting technique which went horribly wrong. Instead of applying just one coat of paint onto small squares of moist plaster which dried together, he employed the technique more usually used for painting onto wood or canvas. This meant he could retouch the work and in doing so he managed to paint a remarkable work of beauty. However, the paint applied to dry walls did not adhere well. What with the settling of the walls and the refectory's natural humidity, conditions have not been propitious for its conservation.
Five centuries later, da Vinci's work has both degenerated and been retouched, but the artist's mastery of perspective, mood and tone can still be appreciated and its setting is no less wonderful.
Please note that advance booking is required to visit The Last Supper.
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