Such a shame it was that Leonardo da Vinci’s Milanese masterpiece “The Last Supper” began chipping and deteriorating even before the artist died in 1519 due to an experimental fresco formula. However, a recent discovery has led two authors to publish a book that has heads turning and minds changing. On what?
Although no one disputes the genius of Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci, few realize exactly how poor a condition his Milanese masterpiece “The Last Supper” is actually in. In fact, only about 20 percent of the original fresco remains, which has led scholars to one simple conclusion: We really have a minimal conception of what the original painting looked like.
Two authors, however, have suggested in a new book that an extraordinary discovery — a life-sized canvas of “The Last Supper” discovered in a remote Belgian monastery — was by the hand of Leonardo and his studio, thus giving scholars the clearest picture of the fresco as it would have appeared upon completion.
Co-authored by Professor Jean-Pierre Isbouts and connoisseur Christopher Heath Brown, Young Leonardo: The Evolution of a Revolutionary Artist, 1472-1499 forwards a heap of evidence to suggest the above theory is indeed fact. Among the topics considered in the book are how the authors discovered that Leonardo and his workshop painted a second “Last Supper,” a life-size version on canvas, just seven years after the original fresco was completed; how the canvas still shows “The Last Supper” in all of its brilliant hues and tones; and how the canvas was discovered to have been commissioned by the French King, Louis XII, explaining Leonardo’s personal involvement with the project.
Regardless of where you fall on the argument, the book should be a fascinating read. To learn more, visit here.
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