“The Last Supper” has also been the target of much speculation, usually centered around supposed hidden messages or hints found within the painting.
Slavisa Pesci, an information technologist, created an interesting visual effect by overlaying a semitransparent, mirrored version of the painting on top of the original. The result is that two figures that look like Templar knights appear at both ends of the table, while someone who is possibly holding an infant stands to Jesus’ left.
Giovanni Maria Pala, an Italian musician, has also indicated that the positions of hands and loaves of bread can be interpreted as notes on a musical staff, and if read from right to left, as was characteristic of Leonardo’s writing, they form a musical composition.
Sabrina Sforza Galitzia, a Vatican researcher, claimed to have deciphered the “mathematical and astrological” puzzle in Leonardo’s “The Last Supper.” She said that he foresaw the end of the world in a “universal flood” which would begin on March 21, 4006 and end on November 1 that same year. She believed that this would mark “a new start for humanity.”
Three of da Vinci’s students, including Giampietrino, made copies of his painting early in the 16th century. Giampietrino did a full-scale copy that is now in London’s Royal Academy of Arts. This oil painting on canvas was the primary resource for the latest restoration of the work. The second copy by Andrea Solari is in the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Belgium while the third copy by Cesare da Sesto is in the Church of Saint Ambrogio in Switzerland.
Strange Facts about The Last Supper
Although The Last Supper is easily one of the world’s most iconic paintings, its permanent home is a convent in Milan, Italy. And moving it would be tricky, to say the least. Leonardo da Vinci painted the religious work directly (and fittingly) on the dining hall wall of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie back in 1495.
Although the painting itself was beloved, da Vinci’s tempera-on-stone experiment was a failure. By the early 16th century, the paint had started to flake and decay, and within 50 years, The Last Supper was a ruin of its former glory. Early restoration attempts only made it worse.
Vibrations from Allied bombings during World War II further contributed to the painting’s destruction. Finally, in 1980, a 19-year restoration effort began. The Last Supper was ultimately restored, but it lost much of its original paint along the way.
In 1652, a doorway was added to the wall that holds the painting. Its construction meant that a lower central chunk of the piece—which included Jesus’ feet—was lost.
Countless reproductions have been made in all sizes, but the original is about 15 feet by 29 feet.