12 November 2021
Would you like to visit Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper? Here is what there is to discover and how to take part in a guided tour to discover one of the world’s most famous works of art!
Eternally nostalgic for the masterpiece jealously guarded in the Louvre, that Mona Lisa who with her enigmatic smile inspired the famous writer Dan Brown for his gripping thriller The Da Vinci Code and which today can be admired only by going to the French capital, the Italians know well that they can be proud of their country for being the birthplace of the undisputed genius of Leonardo da Vinci.
Not all the works by the great maestro, fortunately, are in large museums abroad: in Milan, for example, there is one of the greatest masterpieces by da Vinci, the beautiful painting of the Last Supper. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Last Supper is in the refectory in Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, in the city.
Read our guide to get to know the masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci better and find out how you can admire it in Milan!
Leonardo da Vinci’s experimentation, between mysteries and centuries of art history
Visit the Last Supper on demand? You can with Neiade!
Book the tour on demand
Leonardo’s experimentation, between mysteries and centuries of art history
That Leonardo was an experimenter and an innovator – as well a a skilful and ingenious inventor – in unanimously acknowledged.
Many of his works have aroused the curiosity of art historians and enthusiasts, inspiring novels and giving rise to fully-fledged legends.
The undisputed masterpiece of the Last Supper stands out amongst his most talked about works. This Renaissance painting, created for Ludovico il Moro between about 1494 and 1498 and on which Leonardo da Vinci experimented several representative and pictorial techniques to give rise to the fascinating illustration of the central episode in the life of Christ, narrated by the Gospel, and a keystone in Christian faith. Besides, the patronage of the Sforzas is also shown by the three lunettes above the Last Supper, in which the coat-of-arms of the family that made the history of Milan can be recognized.
Saved from the passing of time, century by century, until the last lengthy restoration which started in the 1970s and was concluded in 1999, the Last Supper is a work of rare beauty, rich in tiny details that are literally breath-taking, of which the innovative composition is at the origin of the “mysteries” surrounding it. The most famous, thanks also to the fame of the film adapted from Dan Brown’s novel, is that the evangelical character of Mary Magdalene can be glimpsed in the figure of John: literary invention or reality?
Why is John represented with such a feminine appearance? Why is Judas not to one side, as in the majority of the other paintings of the episode of the Gospel according to John 13:21, but is with the other eleven apostles, gathered around the figure of Jesus?
Why on the table which has been laid, where the skill of da Vinci shows in detail the different types of food, there is no cup or Eucharist?
These are all questions that today contribute to fuelling the fascination and legendary aura that has been created around the painting by Leonardo da Vinci and which are answered in the many iconographic studies on this masterpiece.
Painted with a technique defined “miniaturist” due to the incredible attention to the tiniest details, the Last Supper is by definition a “wall painting on dry plaster”, not a fresco.
The extraordinary perspective, with the vanishing point exactly above the head of Christ is a skilful visual game that creates continuity between the real space and the painted space, is now history: the Last Supper is a work that absolutely cannot be missed, to admire absolutely if you are visiting Milan.
What is most surprising, however, is the precise instant that Leonardo da Vinci chose to immortalize to consecrate to eternity the characters in his work: it is an illustration of the moment when Jesus announces to his disciples that he will soon be betrayed –and by one of them.
Hence the dynamism of the scene: the disciples look worried, they whisper to one another, they wonder who on earth could be the one who is about to betray the son of God… it is the representation, so dear to Leonardo, of the “movements of the soul”!
Once again the talent of the great Italian artist has meant that his hands have created a work that has enchanted generations, century after century. We can also say, despite the infinite restorative events, the Last Supper, like Leonardo da Vinci’s other masterpieces, still succeeds in its intention with incredible efficacy!
How to visit the Last Supper in Milan
Visiting the Last Supper can be more difficult than you think: the queues before being able to be in front o the masterpiece can belong but with Neiade you can book a guided tour with a fast track entrance ticket, lasting about an hour and a half during and thanks to which you will learn the history of this incredible work, and more!
The Last Supper is in the refectory which stands next to the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie, at number 2 of the Piazza of the same name: the church also hides many treasures that deserve being revealed.
A landmark for art lovers passing through Milan, the Last Supper can also be discovered while you are sitting comfortably on the couch in your own home.
How? With the virtual tours by Neiade, in an exciting visit to the Las Supper, on demand!
Between a stroll in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and a visit to the Duomo, if you are in the splendid city of Milan you cannot miss the opportunity to let Leonardo da Vinci surprise you once again with one of his works, the most famous one in the world.
How to know more? Here is further information on the #MILANOACASATUA section: click here.