Okay, so technically The Last Supper was held on the Thursday before Good Friday. But today, for Easter, I’m reposting (with some updates) a combination of three of my favorite posts which, together, give you a background on Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting and show an immense collection of various fine art, pop culture and photographic interpretations of it.
Interpretations of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper
The Last Supper. And the one after that. And after that. And then, even more.(Compiled from previous posts dating from 2008 to 2012)
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 younger generations, know the origin of the original and how many other interpretations had been created prior to the one they tweeted, tagged, posted online 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 Lego minifigs
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.
Instead of only parodies in this post, I also 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 the above image is very enhanced for reproductions like posters, etc. To be more accurate, see the next two images .
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
Wanna see it in person? 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: Aubrey Hallis, The Last Breakfast, 1996
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
Above: Ron English, Last Supper Icons, 2011
above: The Last Supper by Etch-A-Sketch artist Kevin E.Davis.
Some photographic interpretations of the The Last Supper for both advertising campaigns and personal projects:
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, controversial ad for Marithé and Francois Girbaud
Above: Soprano’s Last Supper shot by Annie Liebovitz for Vanity Fair & HBO
Pop Culture Televisions Versions of The Last Supper
The LOST Supper & Other TV Casts As The Famous Painting (2010)
above: Detail of the LOST Supper, with character John Locke as Jesus
As a huge fan of J.J. Abrams’ television series LOST as well as having written the above previous post on fine art and photographic recreations of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, I couldn’t blog about this fast enough.
Prior to the show’s finale, ABC released two photos of the LOST cast posing as “The Lost Supper” in which one was supposed to be able to find clues as to the character’s fates in the final season.
Below are the two images:
above: “Lost” stars Zuleikha Robinson (Ilana), Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert), Emilie de Ravin (Claire), Naveen Andrews (Sayid), Evangeline Lilly (Kate), Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Terry O’Quinn (Locke), Matthew Fox (Jack), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin), Michael Emerson (Ben), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Ken Leung (Miles) and Jeff Fahey (Frank Lapidus).
We all know this is not the first television show to pose their cast as Jesus and his disciples in the famous pose, but did you know about all of the following?
Robert Altman for MASH:
and another view:
That 70’s show:
Gordon Ramsey Top Chef:
and of course, The Simpsons:
… and The Sopranos:
Below is a whole new slew added to my growing collection of Last Supper homages by more photographers and artists.
Sailor Moon Last Supper by Paolo Cellammare:
The Last Supper by photographer Pablo Marques:
Underwater Last Supper by photographer Howard Schatz:
The Last Supper 2004 by photographer Jim Fiscus:
“One of you will betray me” by photographer Midnight-Digital:
by photographer Anna Franke:
by photographer Michael Hunter:
Fellini’s Pizzarria by photographer Lazaro:
The Last Supper Just The Hands by photographer bananocrate ??????
A Lesbian Last Supper by arfism:
iPod Last Supper by Travis (axb500):
Taste The Good Life by Chance:
The Big Lebowski Last Supper:
The Manischewitz Last Supper (artist unknown):
The Clowns Last Supper by Dark Vomit:
The Last Supper by Misha Art:
The Last Supper sculpture in the desert by the late artist Albert Szukalski, 1984:
and lit at night:
Artist Lidy Jacob‘s Rabbit’s Last Supper:
The Last Snack by Tom Altany:
The Lion Supper:
The Star Wars Last Supper by Eric Deschamp for Giant Magazine:
And lastly, the amazing doodle illustrated Last Supper by Saga Kikeita:
detail of above:
Of course I’ve left out hundreds, probably more like thousands, of worthy interpretations so forgive me. But now, when you see photo-shopped and contemporary versions of The Last Supper, you’ll know that the aforementioned artists did it first.
I’ve continued to collect these and over 200 can now be found here:
Follow laura l.’s board The Last Supper – Over 120 Contemporary Versions on Pinterest.
Be sure to see the 45 new ones added in 2013 here