Friday, February 19, 2010

The Last Supper

Title: The Last Supper

Artist: Juan de Juanes

Medium: Panel

Size: 116 x 191 cm

Date: c. 1560s

Location: Museo del Prado, Madrid.

Mark 14:22-25 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body."

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.

"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them. "I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God."

This painting depicts Jesus in the midst of his benediction, the disciples crowded about, haloes acting as celestial name tags for the viewer. Conspicuously, Judas is depicted in the left foreground skulking away from the ceremony. He has no halo, instead his name is emblazoned on his stool in sharp contrast to the glory of the other disciples.

During the sixteenth century, a number of Spanish painters fell heavily under the influence of Raphael. Typical in this respect, in Valencia, are the members of the Masip family: Vicente Masip and his son Vicente Juan Masip (c. 1500–21 December 1579). In fact, the younger Masip (also Juan de Juanes, Joan de Joanes, and Vicente Juan Macip) was often called "the Spanish Raphael". His work is distinguished by a certain formalistic elaboration of the directions taken by his father, but is by no means lacking in grace or skill. His work is harmonious, rhythmically transparent and well designed. These characteristics are particularly evident in his more popular compositions, including this rendition of the Last Supper.

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