4.2 th Post: …………….Jesus
Posted on: May 28th, 2011 by dan 92 Comments

Yes, it did provide a clue. But I  was hoping to see a color print of  The Last Supper.  The author Eugene Muntz must have traveled to Milan an visited the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie.  He described in detail the construction of the refectory, inside and outside.  He further described the color of the tunics and robes that had been  worn at the dinner.

Pictures  by:  Dan Breslin

I was disappointed, no color print.  However, he did expand on Matteo Bandello who as a young boy joined the Order of the Predicatori and was assigned to Santa Maria delle Grazie.  Matteo’s uncle was the General of the Dominicans and it appears that Matteo was given good assignments.  He traveled extensively throughout Europe with his uncle as they inspected the different Dominican  convents.  He meet many prominent officials and led a charmed life.  In the latter part of his life he was appointed to the office of Bishop of Agen.  During his travels he heard and recorded many personal stories. These he was quick to relate to both new and old friends.  He became known as a story teller and  he soon wrote books containing those same short stories.  I acquired one of the novels (reprint and translated into English), Novellieri Italiani, by Percy Pinkerton, published by John C. Nimmo of London.   I checked this and the index of many of Matteo’s other novels.  No reference to The Last Supper.  Nevertheless, Matteo Bandello was eventually  recognized as Italy’s most prominent Novellieri of the 16th century.

I believe that Eugene Muntz had additional sources of data on Matteo Bandello but elected not to list it in his current work but just used it as a mental source.  At that point in time it might not have seemed important.

But getting back to his assignment at Santa Maria delle Grazie.  Matteo knew Leonardo and often watched him working.  He made notes on what Leonardo did, what he said and what visiting dignitaries said and did.  It was his notes that tell us that Judas was the last apostle painted and that Jesus was the last of the group to be painted.

In preliminary sketches for the apostles, Leonardo sketched them without beards.  He needed to get the correct facial features of the individuals for the part they would represent.  The beards came later.  Also I read that the painting, Adoration of the Magi was sketched naked and clothed later.

It seems to me that this is all Thomas Eakins was doing, it is what he taught.  Thomas Eakins  strived for realism.  Do  all great artists paint in that way?

I still haven’t resolved the source of the picture, The Last Supper, that  Thomas Eakins saw and copied.  But I am working on it.


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Coffee break...


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