Essay on The big N/A

Comparison paper

The topic of discussion today is on the Last Supper. Not the actual event but two distinct works of art that come to mind when one imagines what it would have been like to be present during the momentous event. The works of art that I am referring to are Andrea Del Castagno’s Last Supper and The Last Supper done by Leonardo da Vinci. Both are exquisite and inspiring works of art. There are however many differences between the two. Through the course of this paper I will explore some of the differences and similarities. The location, medium and opinions of the final product. Noted by the fourteenth-century monk Ludolph of Saxony, ‘The Last Supper, the revelation of the betrayal, entered the heart of each Apostle like a knife, causes each to reflect on his inner life and, for some, his eventual martyrdom (Hartt 264). As depicted in the bible the Last Supper took place in an upper room of a house in Jerusalem, which neither painting accurately portrays. It is very hard to say which one truly represents the emotions of all involved. One thing however is for sure, emotion was certainly captured.Castagno’s Last Supper is said to be completed around 1445-50 it is a fresco on the end wall of a refectory, the Cenacolo of Sant’ Apollonia, Florence (Turner 101). There are religious paintings all around the Last Supper, above is the Resurrection, Crucifixion, and Entombment. God the father rises behind, and while he is in the picture plane close to the surface of the fresco, incongruously he also appears to stand on a ledge or tomb affixed to the back wall (Turner 102). There seems to be a spatial inconsistency but more than likely it was deliberate. The chapel is designed to offer a very detailed optical illusion; therefore the space could be seen as a heavenly chapel. The ionic image of the trinity itself is a truth for all times and all places (Turner 102). Because of the content and belief of what is taking place the painting is not considered to be explained from any one particular point of view. Castagno never intended to recreate what the Bible refers to as an upper room of a house in Jerusalem. In fact, it seems to be an independent construction one story high and roofed with Tuscan tiles, its front wall removed in the convention of a stage (Hartt 237). The rich paneling of veined marble and porphyry squares in a white marble enframement is i…

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…up in the situation that all you would need to do is look out the window and a greater understanding is right there waiting for you. This is truly a larger than life painting with human beings acting and feeling on a more righteous level than us.Both paintings express emotion and inspire the imagination. Figure design, expressions, three-dimensionality, and illusionistic messages may be some of the differences between the two; however there is one main similarity, recognition. Recognition: of the fulfillment of prophecy, of the nature of Christ, the consequences of their belief; that they were no longer involved merely in a sectarian argument with a purely local significance, but were present at the birth of a new conception of the meaning and nature of God which was to shatter the fabric of their lives and bring most of them face to face with violent death (Murray 7). Other than technical and style differences the paintings could be summed up with those words. The paintings are very different but unfortunately I don’t see how other than personal opinion someone could feel that one has more significance than the other. I feel it is up to the observer to decide for themselves.


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