Leonardo worked from 1495 until 1497/1498 at the painting, which is the north wall of the refectory. The image is 9.04 meters long and 4.22 meters high.
The Dominican monks took their meals in this room. It represents the moment of the Last Supper in which Jesus announces to his disciples that one of them will betray him the same evening.
This famous paintings is mainly determined by the arrangement of individuals in groups of three around the table and by the “psychological” representation in facial expressions and gestures of the Apostles.
Theme of the picture is also the setting of the Eucharist. Jesus is the center, while the disciples by Jesus’ announcement seem to be in anxiety and excitement.
The monks enjoyed the painting as an extension of their own dining room, thanks to the wide and airy background of the picture.
Leonardo strove in the “Last Supper” the unity between figure and space – the perfect perspective, extending the lines of the upper door and space limitations, so they all run to Jesus.
Leonardo, always trying new techniques of painting, also abandoned the proven method for frescos and chose a kind of light color temperature. But the painting had already suffered the humidity of the place during Leonardo’s lifetime and its condition deteriorated rapidly over the centuries.
Generations of restorers studied and sometimes invented new methods to save the painting and it is constantly kept under control.
The Last Supper “Cenacolo Vinciano” is located in the refectory of the church Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
Visitors arrive via a separate entrance to the left of the church into the refectory; they are admitted only in small groups and are allowed to stay in only 10-15 minutes.