Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper is one of Milan’s Top Ten Attractions:
Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper (Cenacolo) is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It’s little wonder that this masterpiece is also one of the Top 10 attractions in Milan. This work of art has fascinated and intrigued art aficionados and visitors for many centuries. Naturally we too were curious about the painting and went to have a look.
The Last Supper mural captures the emotional moment in which Jesus announces that one of his twelve disciples will betray him. From the dismayed expressions of the twelve, it may be hard to tell which disciple it is. We are told that Judas is always portrayed slightly differently from the other disciples. In the mural you will see that he is painted slightly darker. However, if you still can’t make out which figure is Judas, the chart below will enlighten you.
This enormous and complex mural was painted in the 15th-century. Leonardo da Vinci preferred to paint on dry wall instead of the standard fresco technique of painting on wet plaster. He also left the Christ figure incomplete as he did not consider himself to be worthy to complete it.
The painting had been severely damaged over the centuries, and has only very recently undergone a painstaking 21-year restoration. It now shows the original colours and details of this masterpiece.
At the opposite end of the room is a painting depicting The Crucifixion.
Visiting The Last Supper
The Last Supper mural is hidden inside a Dominican refectory next to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. The delicate nature of the mural and its importance means that entrance is strictly limited to those who have a pre-booking. You do have to book quite early in advance. We thought that the easiest way to get in is to join a skip-the-line guided tour.
Only one group is allowed to stand with the painting at a time, in a specially conditioned room. We were allowed 15 minutes only, but it was worthwhile. This skip-the-line tour includes pre-booked entrance, so you avoid the lines and enjoy an intimate viewing of this special painting.
The Last Supper
Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie