Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper

This post on Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper is an excerpt from the book Milan by Enrico Massetti. – The independent, unbiased, and accurate guide to the city.

Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper
History of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting.

This Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting, commenced in 1495 and completed in 1497, is considered one of the most significant art creations worldwide. The picture shows Jesus announcing to his twelve Apostles that one of them was going to betray him.

Da Vinci painted his masterpiece using strong tempera on drywall instead of a wet one; this is the reason why it has begun to fade soon after its completion. In time, the fresco has undergone many restoration interventions, of which the most recent was started in 1978 and finished in 1999. The work has made original pictorial excerpts re-emerge and has shown more of Da Vinci’s sense of color and drawing techniques. After the restoration, a sophisticated air filtering system was installed to impede the entry of dust, damp, vapor, and polluting substances.

Where is placed Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper?

The Refectory at Santa Maria delle Grazie is the location for one of the greatest masterpieces of Italian art: Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. The place of this work is the Refectory, the hall in which the monks gathered to eat, is not coincidental. You should remember that the Refectory is very close to the church, where the monks listened to the Scriptures and took their spiritual nourishment in the form of the Eucharist.

This work, amidst the daily rituals of lunch and dinner, was a constant reminder to the monks, showing that the life of the religious community was an extension of the life of Christ and his apostles.

Here, a religious theme intertwines with art and history. The Last Supper was commissioned from Leonardo by Ludovico Sforza, who was then Duke of Milan, as part of a plan to refurbish the monastery and church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. This project was of great importance for Ludovico Sforza because it was in this church that the Duke planned to install his tomb.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper – a video by Rick Steves
How to make reservations for Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.

Reservation is indispensable to see “The Last Supper.” You can reserve online at the official Milan Tourist office vivaticket.it up to three months in advance. The visit lasts 15 minutes, and you must be at the ticket counter 20 minutes in advance to pick up your ticket, so in little more than half an hour, you complete the visit of the most famous piece of art in Milan.

You will find a lot of information on the website www.cenacolovinciano.org.

A Google search for “Da Vinci Cenacolo Milan tickets” gives you more than half a million results. Most of the top-rated ones are paid sponsored advertising, be careful at what you read and what you buy, you could end up with something that is not exactly what you were expecting, and searching!

Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Santa Maria delle Grazie
Santa Maria delle Grazie

While waiting your turn, or after your visit is over, you should visit the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie, adjacent to the Cenacolo, with its delicious Cloister.

The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is an outstanding work of architecture and an emblem within the Catholic tradition.

The Church is one of Renaissance art’s most important testimonies and a shining symbol of creative human genius – thus, it became a UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980. 

The perfect and sophisticated architecture of the church, attributed to Bramante, along with Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, are symbols of Renaissance Milan, as well as of a new era in European art history. 

On the sides of the Church are seven square chapels dedicated to the Virgin of Graces – all except the last one on the left (that realized by Solari). 

Check their opening hours and timetable on their website legraziemilano.it.

End of the excerpt, you can buy the full content of the bookMilanwithout advertising.