Essay on The Different Messages from the Last Suppers

Dierec Bouts, a Netherlandish painter, and Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian Renaissance painter, are both known for their paintings of The Last Supper. While both versions of the last supper center around the same biblical event, the artists used techniques such as linear perspective, detail, and shapes to create different messages; one involving the whole idea of Christianity and the other narrowly focusing on biblical story and the sin involved

When comparing linear perspective in the two Last Supper’s, da Vinci’s mastery of the technique plays a more pivotal role in creating his message. In Bouts’ painting, the beginning signs of linear perspective can be seen. The beams within the ceiling seem to converge towards the top of the arched doorway while the walls slant inwards also towards the doorway. While Bouts uses linear perspective to some degree, its not as refined or relied upon as seen within Da Vinci’s painting. In Leonardo’s painting, da Vinci not only gives evidence of the use of linear perspective through the checkered ceiling gradually getting smaller into the background or the walls converging in, but he gives the use of linear perspective a purpose; placing the focal point above Christ to forcing the viewer to look there. Da Vinci uses the newly refined technique to highlight his main focus of the painting, Christ, whereas Bouts seems to be attempting to figure out the uses of linear perspective.Bouts’ Last Supper contains an immense amount of background detail. The tile on the floor has mosaic crosses with alternating patterns, wooden beams characterize the ceiling, and outdoor Landscape is visible through the windows. Also, the bread is placed in the middle of the table surrounded by cups of wine. Bouts’ i…

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…ts also refrains from highlighting any one aspect in the painting, instead illuminating the action of communion. All the apostles are looking at Christ’s hands to watch him break the bread, further putting the action of Communion in the spotlight. Meantime, da Vinci’s painting is focuses on the message the story from The Bible teaches; about the sin of Judas. He sets up the painting so that Christ is at the forefront and the story behind Judas is singled out, making Judas the easiest apostle to point out. Contrary to Bouts painting, the eyes of all the apostles in da Vinci’s painting, aside from Judas, are directed towards Christ, another factor contributing to the message of how great a sin betrayal is.

Works Cited

Gardner, Helen, and Fred S. Kleiner. Gardner’s Art through the Ages: A Global History. 14th ed. Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.


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