When it comes to world-famous paintings, Leonardo Dad Vine’s “Last Supper” is always on the top of the list. What is it that, even now, 500 years after its creation in 1498, makes “Last Supper” such a mysterious and conspiracy-laden painting? First, there is a level of mystery surrounding its creator, Leonardo Dad Vinci. Not only was Dad Vinci an influential painter, he was also an engineer, sculptor, designer, and scientist. His ingenious concepts in many subjects and technological inventions were so advanced for the 14th to 1 5th century technology that even some 20th-century inventors, like he Wright brothers, pulled from his work.
There have been a lot of theories on Dad Vine’s life and on his paintings and it is believed that “Last Supper” contained hidden messages, which Dad Vinci encoded in the painting himself. This essay will examine what these theories are and how they are counter argued by scholars and art historians. Although there have been many fiction novels about Dad Vine’s “Last Supper”, Dan Brown’s novel The Dad Vinci Code, published in 2004, garnered an enormous amount of support from the world wide readers. It brought up a huge scandal on Jesus that, e and Mary Magdalene were lovers and in fact there was a child (or children) between them.
In the novel, a secret group, “Prior of Soon,” protects the descendants of Jesus until today. Dad Vinci, as a member of “Prior of Soon”, was aware of the truth about Jesus and Mary so he encoded this secret in “Last Supper” to send out the message . “The Dad Vinci Code” changed some of its readers’ beliefs toward their religion, but scholars say this novel is merely based on fiction. In the words of Renaissance art expert Elizabeth Pillion, “… It is severely flawed. As a reader of fiction, I think it is a tremendously entertaining view’ . The Dad Vinci Code” says that, in Dad Vine’s “Last Supper”, the figure sitting on the right side of Jesus is obviously a female person; the figure does not have a beard like rest of the disciples and the figure’s hand is placed closest to Jesus’ right hand, suggesting that the two are physically close. Scholars argue that there have been a lot of paintings on the subject of the Last Supper, and it had been common to depict John next to Jesus and beardless. Disco did Boniness’s “Last Supper” from the early 14th century portrayed John in similar ways.
In Disco’s “Last Supper,” John is sitting on the left side of Jesus, beardless and leaning on Jesus. Domenici Grandchild’s version of “Last Supper” also has the same description of John, in which he is sitting on the left side of Jesus, leaning on the shoulders. Why do John’s illustrations share these similarities, when all these paintings were created over a century apart from each other? The Bible has all the answers. John is known to as Jesus’ most beloved disciple; in fact, the Bible specifically refers to John as “the disciple, the one whom Jesus loved… [John 20:2;], and this phrase appears our times throughout the Gospel of John . The Bible describes the scene at the Last Supper with specific details of the position of John and Jesus; “It is the Beloved Disciple who, while reclining beside Jesus at the Last Supper, asks Jesus, after being requested by Peter to do so, who it is that will betray him” [John 13:23-25]. Both Disco and Garlanding were absolutely correct in terms of the position of Jesus and John according to the Bible and the appearance of John is also similar in both paintings.
These three painters’ versions of “Last Supper” are not the only paintings n the same subject; in fact, the earliest depiction of the last supper occurs in the frescos of the Catacomb of Rome from the 6th century . There were some conventions created when many painters drew the “Last Supper” over the centuries, and Leonardo Dad Vinci was simply following these conventions in accordance with both the Bible and earlier “Last Supper” depictions created by other painters.
Dan Brown’s “the Dad Vinci Code” disregarded the facts about these traditions, yet described Leonardo “Last Supper” as if everything started from it; therefore, the readers are biased with this faulty concept. Another argument made by Dan Brown has to do with SST. Peter, who is sitting next to the female figure. The novel’s interpretation of SST. Peter is that he was against the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene; therefore, he was illustrated showing a sign of execution on the female figure’s neck, and he is holding a knife with his right hand as a threat.
The author says that Dad Vinci wouldn’t have drawn these features unless they meant something, but scholars argue differently. Iconography is one of the characteristics of Renaissance arts, which includes symbolism in the paintings . Pewter’s holding a knife at the Last Supper is actually a Christian symbol, foreseeing of the event followed by the Last Supper. In Disco’s painting, it is observed that there are a lot of knives present on the table. Although Peter is not holding a knife in this painting, the knives serve as symbolism.
It is more obvious in Grandchild’s “Last Supper,” in which Peter is actually holding a knife in his right hand. Contrary to Dan Brown’s explanation, it does not look like Peter is threatening someone else. The reference to Pewter’s knife appears in the Bible. When Judas showed up with soldiers to arrest Jesus, Peter fought back and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, named Mulches [John 18:10]. By illustrating Peter with a knife in his hand, it serves as foreshadowing of a future event.
It is wrong to say that, because Peter is holding a knife in the painting, it has a meaning of threatening other person, but it serves as a symbolism off future event. What appears to be Pewter’s showing an execution gesture on John’s neck is, in fact, a misinterpretation made by “the Dad Vinci Code”. As discussed above, the Bible has some specific details on the ignitions of Peter and John. “It is the Beloved Disciple who, while reclining beside Jesus at the Last Supper, asks Jesus, after being requested by Peter to do so, who it is that will betray him” [John 13:23-25].
Leonardo Dad Vine’s “Last Supper” is describing the scene of Pewter’s requesting John to ask Jesus. Dan Brown’s explanation of the gesture of Peter is misleading for its readers; therefore, it is only a fictional setting and it should not be taken seriously. Dan Brown was very clever to use Leonardo Dad Vinci as the theme of the book, and he fact that everyone loves to believe a worldwide conspiracy made “the Dad Vinci Code” very successful fiction novel.
It is remarkable how a novel can have so much impact on the worldwide reader’s views, even on religion, although this particular example shows how dangerous in can be. The readers who do not have much knowledge in art history or religious history can easily be biased with these fictional interpretations mentioned above. When reading these kinds of novels, it is the reader’s responsibility to be open-minded and seek the truth themselves instead of being fully influenced by the author.