Last Supper Painting in The Da Vinci Code

Leonardo Da Vinci’s mural painting, “The Last Supper”, first makes its appearance in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, in Sir Leigh Teabing’s home. Teabing takes “La Storia di Leonardo”, a fictional art book, and opens up at a representation of the famous mural. He later takes Neveu through to his study to examine an eight-foot long print of the painting.

The Last Supper by Da Vinci after its most recent restoration

Teabing remarks on the discrepancy between Da Vinci’s painting and the Biblical and legendary accounts. What is missing is the one cup. Instead each person around the table has their own cup, “tiny, stemless and made of glass”.

In fact, the Last Supper was most likely a Seder meal, a Jewish Passover meal, in which there were four cups of wine. The cup referred to in the New Testament account is one of those four cups.

Last Supper Detail shows Jesus and Beloved Disciple

Teabing goes on to speculate about the person sitting to Jesus’ right, usually assumed to be John the beloved disciple. Teabing contends that this is not John, but a feminine figure, Mary Magdalene. He points to the female symbol, the chalice, found in the way Jesus’ body intersects with the ‘beloved disiciple’. The letter ‘M’, outlined in the painting, is said to be Da Vinci’s clue to the nature of Mary Magdalene.

The Last Supper, also known as “Il Cenacolo” and “L’Ultima Cena”, was painted by Da Vinci as a mural in the refectory of the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. He began the work in 1495 and completed it in 1498. Based on a manuscript attributed to Da Vinci, art historians name the twelve disciples in the painting, from left, as Barthomolew, James the Lesser, Andrew, Judas Iscariot, Peter, John. On the other side of Jesus are Thomas, James Major, Philip, Matthew, Jude Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot.

Da Vinci follows the convention of his time of placing Jesus and his fellow guests on one side of the painting. We can imagine Jesus saying to the disciples, “If you want to be in the painting you better get on this side of the table.” Da Vinci departs from religious convention by painting the thirteen men realistically, without halos.

The Last Supper was painted on a dry wall and as a result deteriorated over time. In fact it was descried as ruined only sixty years after its completion. There were several attempts to restore the painting over the years. The most significant restoration was done by Pinin Brambilla Barcilon between 1978 and 1999.

The two images above and below show Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting after and before its most recent process of restoration.

Da Vinci's Last Supper before its most recent restoration

3 thoughts on “Last Supper Painting in The Da Vinci Code

  1. anton

    “The Last Supper”
    There is a letter W in the centre of the picture created by 3 pyramides or two M-s.
    MM
    The two M-s are like 33 numer looking down.
    33=3+3=6 and year 2006 is somehow conneted.
    If there are two groups of 3 people on each side and Christ is nr 1, than you have another 313=3+1+3=7 symbol which connect with the year 2007.
    13 is another nuber in the painting and 1+3=4 connect with 2004. Were or are these years important in the world scene?

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  2. rebecca

    i really need more great information on stuff like the da vinci code im doing a report and i believe from the research i am doing that the da vinci code is about leonardo da vinci’s painting on if jesus was really the son of god and if he was just a regular mortal who walked the earth at one point. the problem is i don’t know enough for this project and i think this subject needs to be brought out more to people because people don’t really know and don’t care enought to the point were they need to learn this stuff. so i was wondering if u could help me PLEASE WRITE BACK A.S.A.P. THAT WOULD BE LIKE TOTALLY AWSOME!!! thanks rebecca……………….

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