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ITALIAN SCHOOL. 000. 00 LEONARDO DA VINCI, 0000000000000000 MILAN.
THE LAST SUPPER.
In representing the Lord's last Supper with his Apostles, Leonardo has chosen the moment when our Saviour says that one of them shall betray him: they all testify their surprise, whilst Judas immediately answers: «Master, is it I ? »
It would be impossible to find else where amore simple, a more noble, and a finer arrangement, whether in the casting of the groups or in the whole of the composition. The vivacity, truth, and suitableness of the expressions, display a profound knowledge of the human heart. The variety of the characters in the heads, proves that they were studied from nature.
From this sublime picture, artists may derive excellent lessons strength, joined to truth and grandeur, is found in it: there precision shows itself without dryness, and the finish of the details by no means prejudices the general effect.
This picture is painted in oil colours, on the wall of the refectory of the Dominicans of Milan, above the principal doorentrance; and it is asserted that whilst Lewis XII had possession of the dutchy of Milan, he wished to have it taken to France, but as it was necessary to carry off the wall, the difficulty of the operation forbad the undertaking. From a long time the damp has occasioned it considerable damages requiring repairs, that have often been unskilful. The Emperor Napoleon caused a copy in mosaic to be taken from this picture; but not being finished in 1815, it has since been carried to Vienna.
There exists an old engraving of this picture by Soutman from a drawing by Rubens : Raphael Morghen has made a very fine engraving of it from a drawing by Matteini.
Width, 19 feet 1 inch; height, 8 feet 6 inches.