Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Last Supper

Title: The Last Supper

Artist: Daniele Crespi

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 335 x 220 cm

Date: 1624-25

Location: Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

Mark 14:17-21 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me."

They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, "Surely not I?"

"It is one of the Twelve," he replied, "one who dips bread into the bowl with me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."

This depiction of The Last Supper by Daniele Crespi comes from the Benedictine convent at Brugora (in Brianza). It’s composition may have been modeled on the work of Gaudenzio Ferrari in the Santa Maria della Passione in Milan. Crespi depicts the apostles in full denial, each hoping it is another who will be the betrayer. Only John, who rests under Christ’s protective arm, and Judas, in the foreground having turned to face the viewer, seem calm. One is beyond suspicion, and the other already knows the truth of his betrayal.

Daniele Crespi (b. ca. 1590, Busto Arsizio, d. 1630, Milano) was a Milanese painter, known for the direct emotional appeal and simple compositions of his religious paintings. Although he died young of the plague, his output was large and his work is considered to be one of the most typical expressions of the zealous spirit of the Counter-Reformation that affected Milan at this time. He was probably a relative of Giovanni Battista Crespi, whose work influenced him.

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