The Last Supper aka Il Cenacolo
Many visitors to Milan are art lovers on the da Vinci trail, while others are readers of Dan Brown following the da Vinci Code route. You can bet both parties will be making their way to Il Cenacolo Vinciano to see Leonardo da Vinci’s mural The Last Supper, or Cenacolo.
Background on Painting
The Last Supper (Italian: Il Cenacolo or L’Ultima Cena) is a late 15th-century mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. It is one of the world’s most famous paintings, and one of the most studied, scrutinized, and satirized.
The work is presumed to have been commenced around 1495 and was commissioned as part of a scheme of renovations to the church and its convent buildings by Leonardo’s patron Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. The painting represents the scene of The Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, as it is told in the Gospel of John, 13:21. Leonardo has depicted the consternation that occurred among the Twelve Disciples when Jesus announced that one of them would betray him.
Due to the methods used, and a variety of environmental factors, very little of the original painting remains today, despite numerous restoration attempts, the last being completed in 1999.The famous wall painting covers the wall of the refectory next to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, on the western outskirts of central Milan. The painting dramatically represents the moment when Jesus predicts that one of his Apostles will betray him. The wall painting has suffered dreadfully over the centuries from the depredations of damp, war and poor restorations. A recent restoration program was completed in 1999, toning down the gaudy colors of previous restorations to more subdued pastels.
IF YOU GO…
You need to book ahead to see The Last Supper; allow 4 or 5 days to confirm your booking, or take a tour. In summer, plan to book at least 6 weeks ahead!
How to Get There:
The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is in-between two metro stations: Cadorna Triennale and Conciliazone. It’s a 15-minute walk from the Duomo or a quick taxi ride.
A: Piazza della Maria delle Grazie 2,
Hours: Open Tue – Sun 8:15am – 7pm. Closed Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25, and Mondays
W: www.milanmuseumguide.com/leonardo-da-vinci-last-supper Admission: € 10