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Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci


@@In the 15th century the Dominican church and convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie was outside the medieval walls of Milan. It was in its refectory that, between 1495 and 1497, Leonardo painted

The Last Supper

@Along with the Monna Lisa at the Paris Louvre, The Last Supper is Leonardo's most famous work. It is one of the paintings most often taken as a symbol of Western Art. AIt depicts the instant in which Jesus announces to the apostles that he knows one of them will betray him. Thanks to the sense of perspective the painting conveyed, the monks eating in the refectory almost had the impression they were part of the scene.


The sense of awe inspired by this masterpiece and the profound interest in it stem also from the enormous problems that its conservation has always presented. BWhen Leonardo da Vinci painted The Last Supper he employed a technique different from the traditional one used to paint wall frescoes. The traditional technique was to divide the section of wall to be frescoed into small squares to be painted rapidly one at a time, while the plaster was still moist, so that the paint and the plaster would dry together. Leonardo chose a technique which resembled the one commonly employed to paint on canvas or on wood. This allowed him to paint more than once over the same surface, so that he could retouch details and thereby achieve the end result he had in mind.

CThis method did permit Leonardo to create a wall painting of extraordinary beauty. Unfortunately, it is also exceptionally vulnerable because the color painted on dry plaster did not stick as well as it would have done on moist plaster and is all the more perishable.

When this initial setback is added to the refectory's natural humidity, to the settling of the wall that supports the painting, causing cracks, and to the inevitable damage caused by the mere passage of hundreds of years... Dyou will certainly understand why the conservation of The Last Supper gives rise to such heartfelt controversy


*apostle: gk@@*refectory: H@*fresco:tXRlj@*plaster:

*heartfelt: ŚA[









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The last supper zAЉ

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