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The Last Supper

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The Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci, is one of the most famous works of art in the world. This painting represents the religious ceremony with Jesus Christ and his 12 disciples. This is the last meal that was shared between him and his disciples before his arrest and his untimely crucifixion. Leonardo was commissioned to execute the painting in the Dominican monastery of this Church by Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza. Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, scientist, architect, author, engineer, inventor, and humanist. He was born in 1452 near Vinci in Italy, and died in Amboise, near Tours France in 1519. The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa are his most famous works of art. Although it took a little over three years to complete, da Vinci did not actually work on it continuously. No one knows the exact date of commencement due to lost and unreliable record-keeping but it is said to be started in 1494 and completed sometime in 1498. There is a misconception that The Last Supper is a large fresco style painting but it is not. Fresco is the Italian word for fresh, and that's because painters do fresco painting on fresh, wet plaster walls. That way the colors really sink in to the plaster, and you get a glowing kind of color that is very different from what you would get if you just painted on top of the dry plaster. But da Vinci worked on this for over a year so the wet plaster would not be wet for long which would not allow this work to be done the way it was meant to be. The technique that he chose was never before seen. He first coated the wall with a strong base. The base consisted of gesso, pitch, and mastic, and has not proved durable. The pigment soon began to break loose from the base and a process of progressive decay set in. As early as 1517 the painting began to flake. Then, less than 60 years after the completion of the painting in 1556 the painting was...

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