Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Sacrament of the Last Supper

Title: The Sacrament of the Last Supper
Artist: Salvador Dali
Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 267 cm × 166.7 cm

Date: 1955

Location: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Depicted is a representation one of the most significant events in Christian theology. As described in all four Gospels, at the Passover meal with his twelve disciples Jesus presented bread and wine, offered as his body and blood, as the basis for a new covenant between God and his people.

This painting, however, rather than being a historical depiction like Da Vinci’s masterpiece, seems to represent the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Christ himself is translucent and casts no shadow, and the gathered disciples seem to be focused not on the figure, but on the bread and wine displayed on the table. Christ is present, yet not visible to the eye.

Salvador Dali (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989) was a Spanish painter born in Figueres, and considered a master of the 20th Century surrealist movement. In 1940, as World War II started in Europe, Dali moved to the United States and eventually returned to the practice of Catholicism. There he announced 'My painting in future will be an amalgam of my Surrealist experience and the classicism of the Pre-Raphaelites and the Renaissance.'

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