Milan, Cenacolo Vinciano and the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
Duration: 1 hour
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper is by far one of the most important works of art of all time, both for its innovative charge and for the impact it had on artists of all ages, from contemporaries to Warhol. Leonardo represents the most dramatic moment of the Gospel when Christ announces the betrayal of one of the apostles “Truly I tell you one of you will betray me”. It is an agitated scene around the immobile fulcrum constituted by the figure of Jesus, which refers to the Christ Judge of the Last Judgment. Around him converge the apostles arranged in groups of three, according to the different reactions to the words of Christ: of question, of scandal, of fear, of emotion, “the movements of the soul”. Note also how the movements of the apostles are more convulsive towards the center of the table and more peaceful towards the extremes. This is because, as happens in reality, words are heard with more difficulty as the distance increases, according to the acoustic laws that Leonardo studied in those years: “the closer the better means the more distant he misses”. The whole scene is illuminated by a cold and clear light that analytically reveals the details of the scene, extremely refined: the foods, the dishes, the glasses in transparent glass, the same folds of the tablecloth that create extraordinary still lifes. Next to the Last Supper you cannot miss the splendid church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, one of the highest points of the Renaissance in Milan. The long and shady classroom opens into the large bright space of the grandstand designed by Donato Bramante on commission from Ludovico il Moro. This extraordinary space, built on the form of the circle inscribed in the square, while harmoniously inserting itself into the whole organism of the church, clearly detaches itself from the Gothic language of the aisles, and still conveys a strong emotion to the visitor today.