As great a work of art as da Vinci's The Last Supper is, it has always seemed somehow awkward to me. Just now I have realized why. I suppose Leonardo wanted to get everyone's faces in the picture, and that's why it is the way it is, but doesn't look a little too much staged?
It's like when on a TV show, there's always one side of the table that is vacant: the side toward the camera. It's easier to film that way, and let's face it, no actor on a TV show wants to sit with the back of his head toward the camera. That's what Da Vinci's painting looks like to me.
I just realized this because I have just seen The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist by Nicolas Poussin. Doesn't it look so much better? A close, secluded, poorly-lighted room rather than that bright, airy space of da Vinci's. And let's face it, if you were one of the apostles, wouldn't you move your seat somewhere nearer Jesus if you saw that one whole side of the table was empty?
I can see why no one wanted to sit facing Jesus. They would have fallen into the doorway. Or at least gotten their legs knocked by every joker's head as they came into the room.ReplyDelete