Pin It


The Last Supper. And the one after that. And after that. And then, even more.

Above: The Sopranos Last Supper for Vanity Fair magazine

Whenever I see popular blog posts and online articles about something in pop culture that references something historical, I always wonder if the ... ahem, younger generations know the origin of the original and how many other interpretations had been created prior to the one they tweeted, tagged, posted on 'digg' or shared on facebook.

Such is the case with a link someone sent me of fun parodies based on Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper. I'd seen the Soprano's Last Supper photo in Vanity Fair and was familiar with the Legos one, since it had been e-mailed to me a ways back. Along with those, the link included just about every pop culture version you could think of -from the Simpsons to Star Wars.

Above: The Last Supper made of Legos

This got me wondering if the people viewing it were aware that The Last Supper was a subject for many well known artists from the 14th-20th centuries, not just da Vinci. From Albrecht Durer to Rembrandt, Tintoretto to Blake, the subject was interpreted by almost every painter who painted for money for centuries. Common sense would tell you that, given that biblical scenes and stories dominated the art world long before any other subjects. But I wondered how many people e-mailing that very link also know that the piece has since been interpreted by the likes of such artists as Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and even photographer David LaChapelle, to name a few.

Well, if they didn't, you can e-mail them this post.

I'm not going to show you the scads of photoshopped and parody versions out there in cyberspace because so many other bloggers have done that already*. Instead of parodies, I wanted to show you other fine art and photographer's interpretations of Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting. Don't groan... you may just learn something.

You are probably used to seeing the original like the one below:

But that is very enhanced for reproductions like posters, etc. To be more accurate, see the next two images (and click on them to enlarge)

Let's start with the original:

Above: before cleaning

Above: after cleaning

The subject: The Last Supper
Painted by: Leonardo da Vinci
Where: Milan, refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent
When: From 1494 to 1498
Size: 460 x 880 cm (181 x 346 in)
Technique: Tempera with oils on white lead and calcium carbonate

A site where you can see the Leonardo DaVinci's Last Supper in amazing detail, down to a pixel.

Wanna see it in person? Please note that starting from April 28th it is possible to book until 30/09/2008. entrance booking info here.

And now some wonderful fine art interpretations of the Last Supper, in chronological order:

Above: Marisol Escobar's Last Supper (1930) installation

Above: Salvador Dali's The Sacrament Of The Last Supper, 1955

Above: Mary Beth Edelson's feminist interpretation, 1971

Above: Hermann Nitsch's Last Supper (1976-9)

Above: Andy Warhol's Last Supper (pink), 1986

Above: Andy Warhol's Last Supper (Dove), 1986

above: Andy Warhol,Last Supper, 1986

Above: Damien Hirst's "Last Supper", 1999

Above: two of the 13 screenprints from Damien Hirst's "The Last Supper" collection, 1999

Above: Devorah Sperber's unusual installation, After The Last Supper, 2005

Above: Francine LeClercq's impressive Last Supper Untitled (installation), 2007

Now, some photographic interpretations of the The Last Supper for both advertising campaigns and personal collections:

above: Underwater Last Supper by photographer Howard Schatz, 2008

Above: by photographer Marcos López, 2001

Above: by photographer Cui Xiuwen, 2003

Above: by Russian film director, Mamedov

Above: by photographer David LaChapelle

Above: unknown photographer, an ad for the Folsom Street Fair

Above: controversial recreation by photographer Elisabth Ohlsen Watson

Above: Fashion shot by Frank Herholdt

Above: unknown photographer, ad for Francois Girbaud

Above: shot by Annie Liebovitz for Vanity Fair & HBO

Okay, now I know you're dying to see all the parodies (like the one below), so here are the links to those:

above: Clowns Last Supper by artist known as Dark Vomit

*An enormous collection of pop culture and television interpretations of the Last Supper from the Slog, posted by Dan Savage

And yet another collection, Suddenly Last Supper, of photoshopped, staged and fun pop culture versions from The Sopranos to Legos of The Last Supper can be found here.

For real art history buffs, here are links to just a few of the other historical religious paintings of the last supper:

Last Supper, Ickleton, Cambridgeshire, 1150-1200. Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church.
Lord's Supper, German Gothic Sculptor, c 1250. Web Gallery of Art.

Last Supper/Communion of the Apostles, Liturgical Veil, 13th/14th century. Benaki Museum, Athens.

Last Supper, Wissington, Suffolk, 13th century. Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church.
The Last Supper and the Agony in the Garden, Spolto, c 1300. Worcester Art Museum.
Last Supper, Fairstead, Essex, 13??. Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church.

Scenes from the Life of Christ: 13. Last Supper, Giotto di Bondone, 1304-1306.
The Last Supper, Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1308-1311. CGFA.

The Last Supper, Friskney, Lincs, c 1320. Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church.

The Last Supper, Pietro Lorenzetti, 1320-1330. Olga's Gallery.

The Last Supper, Jaume Serra, 1370-1400. Web Gallery of Art.

The Last Supper, Little Tey, Essex, 14??. Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church.

The Last Supper, Jaume Huguet, 1450. CGFA.

Communion of the Apostles, Fra Angelico, 1451-53. CGFA.

The Last Supper, Jacopo Bassano, 1542. Galleria Borghese, Rome.

The Last Supper, Dieric Bouts, 1464-67. Web Gallery of Art.

The Last Supper, Taddeo Crivelli, 1469. Getty Museum.

The Last Supper, Jaime Huguet, 1470. Web Gallery of Art.

The Last Supper, Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1476. Web Gallery of Art

The Last Supper, Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1480. Web Gallery of Art

The Last Supper, Domenico Ghirlandaio, c 1486. Web Gallery of Art

The Last Supper, Pietro Perugino, 1493-96. Web Gallery of Art.

The Last Supper, Leonardo daVinci, 1498.

The Last Supper, Bernaert van Orley, 1500's. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Last Supper, Little Easton, Essex, 15??. Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church.
Christ Instructing Peter and John to Prepare for the Passover, Vincenzo Civerchio, 1504. National
Gallery of Art.

The Last Supper, Albrecht Dürer, 1510.

The Last Supper, Franciabigio, 1514. Web Gallery of Art.
The Last Supper, Albrecht Dürer, 1523.

The Last Supper, Andrea del Sarto, 1520-25. Web Gallery of Art.

The Last Supper, Albrecht Durer, c 1520. Lutheran Brotherhood's Collection of Religious Art

The Last Supper, Bernart van Orley, 1520-1530. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Last Supper, Hans Holbein the Younger, 1524-25. CGFA.

Triptypch with the Last Supper, Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Plaque with the Last Supper, Jean Penicaud I, c 1530. National Gallery of Art.

The Last Supper, Jacopo Bassano, 1542. Borghese Barberini Corsini Spada Gallery, Milan.

The Last Supper, Juan deJuanes, 1560's. Web Gallery of Art.

The Last Supper, Tintoretto, 1592-94. Web Gallery of Art

The Last Supper, Daniele Crespi, 1624-25. Web Gallery of Art.

The Last Supper, Peter Paul Rubens, 1630. Olga's Gallery.

Glorification of the Eucharist, Rubens, 1630. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Last Supper, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1634-35. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Last Supper, Philippe de Champaigne, 1600's. CGFA.

The Last Supper, Nicolas Poussin, 1640's. Olga's Gallery.

The Last Supper, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, 1664. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

The Last Supper, Simon Ushakov, 1685. History of Russian Painting.
The Last Supper, Sebastiano Ricci, 1713/1714. National Gallery of Art.

The Last Supper, William Blake, 1799. National Gallery of Art.
The Last Supper, Nikolay Gay, 1863. Olga's Gallery.
The Last Supper, Carl Bloch, 1875, Hope Gallery.

Of course I've left out hundreds, probably more like thousands, of worthy interpretations so forgive me. But now, when you see photo shopped versions of The Last Supper (and believe me, there are hundreds more to come), you'll know that the aforementioned artists did it first.

UPDATE: See Televisions casts posing as the Last Supper, From LOST to MASH here.



jean/NOTCOT said...

don't forget david hockney's!

Jeremy Barker said...

Impressive! I know how long it takes to pull all those links and photos, so my hat off to you. I'll be sure to add a links to your entry when I update my Last Supper post. Thanks for the link.

Boochie Gilchrist said...

Jesus, what a list!

ChinaSteal said...

Add this to your list:

Nas - Streets Disciple

chris said...

Jim Riswold has a series of Last Supper silkscreen prints that measure 42 inches by 86 inches. He did one version of each step in the paint by numbers series for a total of 42 prints. You can see his work at the Augen Gallery in Portland or his website.



Anonymous said...

Adi Nes, an Israeli photographer made a last supper photo as well, the people participating in it are dressed as Israeli soldiers, and the photo is scurrile and beautiful. Check it out.
Amazing blogs by the way, I love it!

Anonymous said...

You forgot the one from the last scene in that episode of The Simpsons, where Homer predicted the end of the world.


tula said...

thank you! as always, you are a rock star curator! i can't believe i've never seen that warhol before. love.

tula said...

i want the one from the Folsom Street Fair, too.

AnnaFilippa said...

Thank you for an amazing overview! Just a note on the name of the Swedish photographer on your list, should anyone wish to see more of her work; her name is Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin.

shintaro said...

this is an illustration my friend made for tempo, indonesian weekly news magazine when former presiden soeharto passed away:


Emrys Eustace, hygt Broom said...

"A site where you can see the Leonardo DaVinci's Last Supper in amazing detail, down to a pixel."

You can always see down to a pixel, in every photograph.

Have you considered getting an editor?

Laura Sweet said...

Dear Emrys Eustace, hygt Broom...

Most people do not use a magnification loupe to view photographs, nor do most sites allow you to view such a classic painting in macro detail as this one does.

rhama said...

nice blog

RobinMM said...

This is a wonderful blog entry and amazing list of "Last Suppers." :-) Thank you! I wanted to let you know that the second link in the list, "The Lord's Supper" by "German Gothic sculptor," has changed. There's an info page here:

I searched for it on the WGA website and did find the image here:

Hope this helps and thanks again!

Laura Sweet said...

Thanks Robin!

C'mon people, it's only a dollar.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Creative Commons License The images, text and information by laura sweet on this site are licensed and protected under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. If you reproduce or re-purpose, be sure to credit this blog and link back to the post. Thanks.