An updated guide to Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper.
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Starting with the over-twenty-year-long restoration of the painting, this guide unlocks its mysteries for us. An unsurpassed example of Leonardo’s sheer genius in depicting human passions and ‘the motions of the soul’, by artfully wielding the tools of gesture and facial expression, the work has served as a prototype for generations of artists over its over five-hundred-year history. Leonardo painted The Last Supper between 1494 and 1497, in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, commissioned by the Sforza dynasty’s Ludovico the Moor. Instead of the traditional fresco technique, the artist opted for an experimental and quite innovative approach which would allow him to paint on a dry wall and therefore be in a position to return to the work as often as he cared to, seeing to every detail. Unfortunately, this decision proved to be disastrous, and the painting began to deteriorate almost immediately. Over the centuries, it has been restored again and again, in desperate attempts to save it for posterity. The original essay by Pietro Cesare Marani has been updated for this edition and appears alongside two new essays by Stefano L’Occaso and Chiara Rostagno.