Last updated 13 September 2020
The convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie hosts one of the most famous attractions in the world: Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.
Among the most famous masterpieces of Renaissance art in Italy, this is a large mural painting in which Christ announces that he will be betrayed by one of his apostles. At the end of the 15th century, Ludovico il Moro, at that time Duke of Milan, commissioned the painting from Leonardo. Leonardo began work on the Last Supper in 1496 and completed it in 1498. The somewhat lengthy time spent on the painting reflects the meticulous attention that he dedicated to his works. In fact, he experimented with an innovative pictorial technique. Rather than hastily applying a mixture of colours and water to fresh plaster, the usual technique for frescoes, he used a medium with oil and tempera which allowed him to paint not only more slowly but also directly on the wall. Unfortunately, his chosen medium doomed the painting to fade and peel, thus compromising its state of conservation. Leonardo also introduced significant innovations into the layout of the scene. In fact, for the first time in the history of art, all thirteen diners are seated on one side of a rectangular table. The central figure is Christ while the Apostles are divided up, symmetrically, into four groups of three, a representation that makes the scene even more lively and dramatic.
If you speak Italian, you will enjoy this attraction at its best.
Tickets: regular tickets from 10 euro + 2 euro (booking), reductions available.
Opening Hours: Tues to Sun 8.15am-7pm. English guided tour 9.30am and 3.30pm. Booking required: www.zaniviaggi.it
If you are planning to visit this location on one of the following dates, we recommend you to check the availability: 1, 6 January, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, 25 April, 1 May, 2 June, 15 August, 1 November, 8, 25, 26 and 31 December.