Kidadl

FOR ALL AGES

43 Leonardo Da Vinci' The Last Supper' Facts For Kids: A True Masterpiece!

Contents
Social & CommunityLearn more
Social & CommunityLearn more
Read some fun Leonardo Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' facts here.

Share this article

The Last Supper is not considered mainstream art but a symbolic art piece.

As per historians, the Last Supper became a memorable piece of art due to its extraordinary perspective. Leonardo put a nail into the wall where he hung his canvas to a string using guided marks.

Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, in the Republic of Florence. There is only a little data on Leonardo da Vinci's childhood. He was an Italian polymath actively working on painting, drawing, architecture, science, engineering, and sculptures. He was initially famous for his paintings but also gained popularity after discovering his notebook. His notebooks had notes and drawings on subjects like botany, astronomy, anatomy, paleontology, painting, and cartography.

The genius of Leonardo outlined the ideologies of Renaissance humanists. Leonardo is one of the greatest painters in the history of art and was given the credit of being the High Renaissance founder. His religious painting called The Last Supper is the most replicated religious painting. The Duke commissioned it for the Santa Maria Delle Grazie Covent's refectory. This painting depicts the last supper shared by Jesus with his 12 apostles before he faced the crucifixion in Jerusalem, as per the Gospel. Christians commemorate The Last Supper, particularly on Maundy Thursday. The Last Supper provides a sacred foundation for Eucharist, also called The Lord's Supper or Holy Communion.

At Clos Luce, at 67, Leonardo da Vinci died on May 2, 1519. Even though official academic training, scholars, and historians consider him a 'Renaissance Man' or 'Universal Genius.' They also interpret his notion of the world to be based on logic. Leonardo rose to popularity during his time so that the King of France likely backed him in his old age and carried Leonardo like a trophy.

Leonardo was able to study river erosion and did figure out our Earth is much older than the Holy Bible. He also made the first-ever design of a parachute. However, he did not have a working prototype. His sketches were later used to build the first parachute. Leonardo was also the first person to explain why the sky had a blue color. This famous painter left several unfinished writings, inventions, and paintings. He also did not like animals being caged; hence, he bought caged animals and set them free. He was also a vegetarian.

Life History Of Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci’s full name was Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci. He was the son of a legal notary of Florence, Ser Piero da Vinci and Caterina, born out of wedlock. It is not clear where he was born. Both his parents married separately after the first year of Leonardo da Vinci's birth. Leonardo was the oldest child of his 12 half-siblings. He received an informal and basic education in mathematics, reading, and writing, maybe because the family recognized his talent in fine art.

The 12-volume Codex Atlanticus comprises what Leonardo recorded about his early life. Leonardo then used the knowledge from what he learned to illustrate his paintings. His education helped him as a painter, draftsman, inventor, and sculptor. His work was famous in the artistic world, inspiring several in his time.

When Leonardo was around 14 years, he started working as a studio boy in Andrea del Verrocchio. Verrocchio was a well-known sculptor and painter of his time. Leonardo never got married during his lifetime.

  • When Leonardo da Vinci was 17, he became an apprentice and continued to work for about seven years.
  • Leonardo was exposed to a wide range of techniques like woodwork, leather-working, mechanics, plaster casting, drafting, metal-working, metallurgy, chemistry, modeling, painting, drawing, and sculpting.
  • As per the historian, Giorgio Vasari Leonardo worked on the Baptism of Christ with Verrocchio that had a youthful angel carrying the robe of Jesus in such a superior, and it is believed that Verrocchio never painted again.
  • In the modern sense, Leonardo actually had no surname. The terms' da Vinci' translates to 'of Vinci.'
  • Leonardo was ambidextrous, meaning he could simultaneously draw backward and forward with opposite hands. He also wrote most of his work from right to left.
  • Leonardo was not only one of the greatest painters but also a talented singer. He played the flute, lyre, and also sang at gatherings.
  • Several popular artists like Picasso, Van Gogh Monet, and Rembrandt created several self-portraits following Leonardo. However, Leonardo himself left only one self-portrait called 'Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk.'
  • Although there are several manuscripts and notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, he rarely wrote about his personal life.
  • It is said that Leonardo traveled to several sites and offered his designs for siege weapons and fortifications to their rulers. However, most of his designs were never made.
  • Leonardo created a hydraulic pump and constructed a movable bridge for Milan's Duke.

Why did Leonardo Da Vinci create the last supper painting?

The Last Supper painting depicts the last meal of Jesus, which was a masterpiece during the Renaissance period. However, this oil painting has struggled throughout history to remain intact. Duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan commissioned the Santa Maria delle Grazie Covent’s refectory, in Milan.

Leonardo da Vinci painted this piece with tempera or an oil mix, then applied the mixture to a dry plaster wall, unlike the old fresco painting with wet plaster. Although he created an oil painting look, the original painting wore away within his lifespan. A door built at the bottom of the dry wall of the artwork was further destroyed.

Leonardo created The Last Supper somewhere between the years 1495-1498 for the renovation of the buildings of the Church. However, the exact starting date is not available, and Leonardo da Vinci did not work on the painting continuously. Through his painting, Leonardo made up an illusion by making the room where Christ and his followers seated appear like it was the refectory's extension. This space extension is like the Holy Trinity painted by the fresco method by Masaccio.

  • The Old Testament had already stated about the Last Supper, which said that God would bring bread and wine.
  • There were around seven attempts to repair The Last Supper. The first revival of this painting lasted about 19 years.
  • Bill Gates is now the owner of the only copy of the Codex Leicester or the Codex Hammer, a 72-page manuscript that Leonardo illustrated.
  • Visiting the monastery where the Last Supper is painted is not very easy. You will need to book four months before your visit to view The Last Supper.
  • When you do visit the monastery that has this painting, you can view it for only 15 minutes and in a small group of people. This is done to preserve this delicate art and to reduce the rate of deterioration.
  • Around the 16th century, his original painting started to display signs of decay and flaking.
  • During World War II, further damage was caused to the painting when the allied bombings produced severe vibrations, shaking the building.
  • The wall was damaged again when soldiers in the 18th century turned this space into a stable.
  • As per historians, Leonardo da Vinci considered all his subjects in his art to be ordinary folks, and God for him was nature.
  • Leonardo's painting has a significant human influence on the world. Instead of portraying just happiness, Leonardo made sure to show real human emotions.
Scientifically, Leonardo was the first human to analyze the flight of birds.

Significance Behind The Last Supper

The Last Supper painting is a scene from the Gospel of John. It reveals Jesus as having his last meal with his apostles before his crucifixion. Leonardo da Vinci wanted to capture the exact moment in the scene where, while having his last supper meal, Christ reveals he knew that one of his disciples would betray him. Leonardo da Vinci painted this moment of rage and shock experienced by the apostles.

In the painting, Jesus has bread and a glass of wine that are important symbols associated with Christ. In the painting, Thomas, on the right side of Jesus, is seen holding up his finger. This is believed to be a subtle implication, which would be an important moment later in Christ's story.

Several scholars think that Leonardo da Vinci deliberately wanted to bring attention to the finger because Thomas later would use this very finger to investigate Christ's wounds, doubting his vision of Christ's resurrection. Scholars also think that the illustration of each apostle in the artwork is based on real-life people. Leonardo wanted Judas to have hardened and deceitful features.

  • It is said that Leonardo da Vinci searched Milan's jails, trying to find a suitable model to base the look of Judas.
  • Scholars believe all the objects placed in the paintings are to have their own significance. However, many scholars have different opinions on why the objects are placed in such a way.
  • Christ in the painting is portrayed in the center, with his body forming a triangular shape, and he is not overshadowed by any apostle.
  • The mural depicts three apostles in four sets at the table, which may have been important to Leonardo. In the Bible, Trinity represents three with four Gospels.
  • You can also find salt spilled near Judas. A few scholars argue that this is a symbol of betrayal, whereas others state that it shows Judas' bad luck for being the one chosen to betray Jesus.
  • Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett wrote the Templar Revelation, in which a theory states that the person on the left side of Jesus is not John but Mary Magdalene.
  • The reason behind the theory about Mary Magdalene is that this person is the only one wearing a neckpiece or a pendant.
  • Although after many speculations, historians confirmed that Mary Magdalene was present during the actual last meal, however, Leonardo did not include her in his artwork.
  • The Templar Revelation also suggests that The Last Supper is an important piece of evidence in a conspiracy about Christ's true identity by the Roman Catholic Church.
  • There were many earlier paintings of The Last Supper by other artists, and they illustrated Jesus with a halo on top of his head.
  • A common debate about the fish present in the scene is whether it is a herring or an eel. The reason this is important is because of differences in symbolic meanings.
  • If the fish in the painting is an eel, then eel means 'aringa' in Italian, which translates to indoctrination. Also, herring is 'renga' in Italian, which means a person denying religion.
  • Jesus asked his apostles to stay awake when he left for his crucifixion; however, they fell asleep.

Painting Media And Style Used For Creating Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper

The dramatic scene of The Last Supper painting is on the Santa Maria Delle Grazie monastery's wall in the dining hall. The room in the painting ends with three windows, through which a landscape setting is illustrated. The Last Supper painting's landscape blends into a grayish horizon. This technique of blending the landscape colors to make them look dull was used to create depth in artworks and is called aerial perspective.

Leonardo da Vinci disregarded the wet plaster fresco technique for many reasons. He wanted the mural to have a fixed amount of luminosity, and fresco paintings were usually dull. Leonardo da Vinci also felt that he would only have had a little time with the fresco method as the painting must be finished before the plaster on the wall dried.

  • Leonardo used a technique to prime the wall, hoping that this priming solution would allow the tempera to stick to the wall, protecting the mural against degradation because of moisture.
  • Leonardo has used a one-point perspective with Christ's head as the vanishing point. So, Leonardo da Vinci used innovative techniques, which were developed in the Quattrocento.
  • Since the 16th-century, many copies have been created by artists like Andy Warhol, a pop artist, Susan Dorothea White, and Salvador Dali.
  • Even though this painting has been reproduced many times, Leonardo's original work is a lot larger than all the copies.
  • Students of Leonardo da Vinci have created two original copies of this artwork.
  • The first one of the three copies was made by Giampietrino, which is presently kept at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
  • Leonardo's student Cesare da Sesto made a copy that is kept at Switzerland's church of Saint Ambrogio. Another copy is done by his student Andrea Solari is placed in Belgium at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum.
  • Dan Brown wrote the famous 'The da Vinci Code' novel that was based on this painting.
  • As per Giovanni Maria Pala, an Italian musician, musical notes were hidden in The Last Supper. Pala went on to produce a 40-second rhythm from these alleged hidden notes.
  • The 12 apostles in the painting are James the Greater, Simon, Jude, Matthew, Philip, Thomas, James the Lesser, Bartholomew, Peter, John, Andrew, and Judas Iscariot.
  • There is also a half-eaten pretzel shown in the painting. It is believed that Jesus gave the half pretzel to Judas Iscariot, revealing how Jesus offered Judas forgiveness for his sins.
Author

Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Was this article helpful?

Subscribe_Hero
Get The Kidadl Newsletter
1,000's of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.