SACRED ART IN 100 WORDS
The Last Supper
Leonardo da Vinci
1495 – 1498
Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie
Here is the most timeless image in art history. A large table dominates the scene with Christ at the center. Two groups of three apostles each sit on either side. The painting captures two moments – the reaction to the imminent Betrayal and the Institution of the Holy Eucharist.
To our left notice, Peter holds a knife. It foretells his attempt that night to slice the ear of Malchus, the high priest slave. Next to him, a distracted Judas reaches for the same bowl as Jesus. Significantly the artist captures their reaction to their betrayal. While Peter moves towards Jesus, Judas pulls away.
Amidst this chaos, the self-giving posture of Christ symbolizes the Holy Trinity. God’s love is beyond betrayal. It is Eternal. The artist invites us to partake in this Love.