- The story behind painting of the Last Supper is extremely
interesting and instructive. Two incidents connected with this painting
afford a most convincing lesson on the effects of sin in our lives.
- As you know, the Last Supper was painted by Leonard Da
Vinci, a noted Italian artist. The time engaged for its completion was
seven years. The figures representing the twelve apostles and Christ himself
were painted from living persons. The live model for the painting of the
figure of Jesus was chosen first. When it was decided that Da Vinci would
paint this great picture, hundreds and hundreds of young men were carefully
viewed in an endeavor to find a face and personality of unaffected by
- Finally, after weeks of laborious searching a young man,
nineteen years of age, was selected as the model for the portrayal of
Christ. For six months Da Vinci worked on the production of this leading
character of the famous painting. During the next six years Da Vinci continued
his labors on his sublime work of art. One by one, fitting persons were
chosen to represent each of the eleven apostles, space being left for the
painting of the figure representing Judas Iscariot as the final task of
- This was the apostle, you remember, who betrayed his
Lord for thirty pieces of silver, worth $16.95, in our present day currency.
For weeks Da Vinci searched for a man with hard calloused face, with a
countenance marked by scars of avarice, deceit, who would betray his best
friend. After many discouraging experiences in searching for the type
of person required to represent Judas, word came to Da Vinci that a man
whose appearance fully met the requirements had been found. He was in
a dungeon in Rome, sentenced to die for a life of crime and murder.
- Da Vinci made the trip to Rome at once, and this man
was brought out from his imprisonment in the dungeon and led out into the
light of the sun. There Da Vinci saw before him a dark, swarthy man, his
long shaggy and unkempt hair sprawled over his face, a face which portrayed
a character of viciousness and complete ruin. At last the painter had found
the person he wanted to represent the character of Judas in his painting.
- By special permission from the king, this prisoner was
carried to Milan where the fresco was being painted. For six months the
prisoner sat before Da Vinci, at appointed hours each day, as the gifted
artist diligently continued his task of transmitting to his painting this
base character in the picture representing the betrayer of the Savior.
- As he finished his last stroke, he turned to the guards
and said, "I have finished, you may take the prisoner away."
The prisoner suddenly broke loose from their control and rushed up to Da
Vinci, crying as he did so, "Oh, Da Vinci, look at me! Do you not
know who I am?" Da Vinci, with the trained eyes of a great character
student, carefully scrutinized the man upon whose face he had constantly
gazed for six months and replied, "No, I have never seen you in my
life until you were brought before me out of the dungeon in Rome."
- Then lifting his eyes toward heaven, the prisoner said,
"O God, have I fallen so low?" Then turning his face to the painter
he cried, "Leonardo Da Vinci, look at me again, for I am the same
man you painted just seven years ago as the figure of Christ!
- This true story of the painting of the Last Supper teaches
so strongly the lesson of the effects of right and wrong actions of an
individual. He was a young man whose character was so pure and unspoiled
by the sins of the world, that he represented a countenance and innocence
and beauty fit to be used for the painting of a presentation of Christ.
But over a period of only seven years filled with sin and crime, he was
changed into a perfect picture of the most notorious character ever known
in the history of the world.
- What kind of picture are you painting today?
- SIGHTINGS HOMEPAGE
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