Leonardo was an Italian thinker who lived between April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519, he is remember for his curiosity and insatiable hunger for knowledge that made him make numerous contributions in science, art, and geography. He prospered in artwork as a sculptor and an architect and in science as a mathematician and an engineer, among others. Leonardo was born in Tuscan hill town of Vinci to Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, and Caterina.
He spent his early years in the house of his mother in hamlet of Anchiano, then he moved to live with his father in his maternal home in Francesco. Francesco was less known town in Vinci, where he lived with his uncles and grandfather. In the village, Leonardo, got a chance to attend formal schooling where he studied Latin, geometry and mathematics, he is said not to have been very good in either. At the age of fourteen, he was enrolled to Verrocchio, which was a re-known workshop with fine arts and scriptures.
Four years later, he had development mastery for art that his father established a workshop for him but he operated it alongside Verrocchio’s. While still working, he was charged with sodomy and acquitted for two years. From the jail, he moved to Milan , where he lived between, 1482–99 and 1508–13. He spent his later life in Rome and France where he lived between 1513–16 and 1516/17–1519 respectively.
When away from Italy, his work was mostly drawing and making simple scriptures. He had no specific area or things that he painted but he could paint all most everything that interested him. He also made masque or musical comedy and was good at it. He was interested in what was happening around him and gave attention to almost every aspect of his life (Ladwein 2-23). One of the most remembered works is The Last Supper (ca. 1492/94–1498).
The Last Supper
The masterpieces took Leonardo three years to complete, but it remains one of the most sold work of art in the world. In art studies, despite the art being over five centuries old, it remains as the most studied piece of art. When in Milan, Ludovico il Moro invited Leonardo to paint on his wall a portrait of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The wall he was to decorate using his painting was adjacent to the church and a painting of Jesus Christ would have fitted best according to the leaders of the Milan church.
However, Leonardo decided to paint Jesus and his twelve disciples at their last meeting where they were to learn that somebody among them had crucified Jesus. He put emphasis and tried to bring the character of disciples on hearing the news that there was a traitor among them. He managed to do this by painting different facial expressions on hearing the news. His art was brilliant that he managed to bring out the character of the disciples as he had intended.
In the painting, he divided the disciples into groups of three and they were seen consulting each other among the groups. At the middle he hand Jesus spread his arms to form a triangular , the Divine Trinity. This was a stylistic characteristic. Unlike other painting made about the last supper, he used his brilliance to include Judas (the traitor) among other disciples and it was hard to recognise who was the traitor.
Other works had had Judas separated from other disciples a move that made it known obvious that he was the traitor. The inclusion of Judas is one of the areas that make the work masterpiece as people try to recognize Judas.
The original painting started to fade in 16th century, and repainted for several years. The idea has been taken and similar painting made giving credit to 16th the works of Leonardo.
The Last Supper painting of the genre type called still life painting. A painting demonstrates an event that happened in the past and involves the portraits of the people who did the act. The characters of the people can be recognised.
The stylistic characteristics used in The Last Supper were Renaissance style. The painter had a historical moment in life that he aimed to bring out through painting. The painting was not aimed at bringing something new to the people or something they needed to think about but it was a painting that brought out what the people already knew had occurred. To understand the painting they just needed to be keen to grasp the in depth meaning of the painting.
The Last Supper was painted on a wall as a decoration next to Milan church. The painter had no drawing or painting that he was comparing but it was a creation form a past event. He aimed to communicate past events though his drawing (Ladwein 23).
Meaning of the art work to me
The work is more than five decades old, however, it is still marketable. The most interesting part of the art is how the painter was able to bring out the characters of players in the painting. It was a historical event when Jesus informed his disciples that among them there was a traitor.
Though Leonardo was not among the disciples, he was able to understand the character of each disciple and brought it out in the painting. The painting brings out the need to be creative in artwork. It is not the first painting on last supper, but it was able to win over other fainting only because he included Judas with the disciples something that made the painting unique and outstanding.
Leonardo is trying to portray a historical event, well known by Christians, however he communicates how traitors and hypocrites operate. He is showing that traitors live amongst us and they cannot be recognised by the look of the eyes. The manner in which Jesus in the painting spread his arms and was left in the centre alone a symbol of how when one is in problems he is left by others to suffer alone. The groups could be interpolated in different ways where some can be seen to be genuinely concerned about the welfare of Jesus while others did not care (Ladwein 67).
The Last Supper painting is based on Christianity. When interpolated, the painting communicates how people live among each other, where some people are traitors yet they pose as friends. The painting qualifies as a masterpiece of art because it is attractive, has an obvious meaning and a hidden meaning.
Ladwein, M. Leonardo da Vinci, the Last Supper: a cosmic drama and an act of redemption. Domach: Temple Lodge Publishing, 2008.Print.