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The Last Supper by Jacopo Comin Tintoretto

Essay by   •  August 20, 2011  •  Case Study  •  392 Words (2 Pages)  •  10,288 Views

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The Last Supper is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Jacopo Comin Tintoretto. It is housed in the Basilica de San Giorgio Maggiore, Italy. It was based on the Christian belief related to the last supper of Jesus with his twelve (12) apostles. This version can be described as the feast of the poor in which the figure of Jesus Christ mingles with the crowds of apostles. The composition of The Last Supper follows the traditional Passover supper of Jesus with his disciples on the eve of the crucifixion. The flickering candlestick creating the light was suggested by a Crowning with Thomas by Titian which Tintoretto had acquired from the master's estate when he died.

There are two (2) sources of light in this painting. One is the darkness and another is the light from the chandelier. The two sources of light symbolize the contrast between the super human and the human world - darkness and enlightenment. There are also unknown people present in the painting. The unknown people symbolize the visitors of the church. Jesus Christ and his apostles are indentified by their halo except for Judas who is kneeling in front of Jesus Christ. The high altar of the church San Giorgio Maggiore was to be seen as a prolongation of the table of The Last Supper. The priestly bearing of Jesus Christ and the liturgical utensils on the small side of the table play on the same connection. The winged images characterize the Eucharist as the "bread of angels" and their supernatural character indicates the mystery of the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.

A comparison of Tintoretto's final The Last Supper with Leonardo da Vinci's treatment of the same subject provides an instructive demonstration of how artistic styles evolved over the course of the Renaissance. Leonardo's version of the last supper is all classical. In the version of Tintoretto, the same event becomes dramatic as the human figures are joined by angels. In Tintoretto's Last Supper, the style of the painting is in mannerist and in distortion while in the version of Leonardo is realistic. The lines of the table, the pattern on the floor, and the wood in the ceiling create a linear perspective that makes the painting stand in the tradition of Leonardo Da Vinci's version of the Last Supper.

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