da Vinci and Tintoretto: The Last Supper
According to the Bible, the evening before Christ was crucified, he gathered his disciples together to eat, announced he had been betrayed by one of them, and asked them to perpetuate the celebration of the Eucharist after he was gone. The Last Supper is one common theme in European art, and the scene depicted is generally the next few seconds in the story just after Christ dropped the bombshell. Famous Italian painters Leonardo da Vinci and, a century later Tintoretto both painted the said scene, but their works are surprisingly dissimilar from one another. In fact, important changes in art occurred during the 16th century, which explains how the two versions differ in their composition and atmosphere, delivering opposed messages.
Leonardo and Tintoretto composed their works differently, taking the freedom to dispose the elements on the canvas as they wished. Leonardo’s painting is made of neat, horizontal lines, that all converge towards a vanishing point situated behind the head of Christ, who forms a distinct triangle. This horizontal construction is relatively steady and symmetrically balanced. In stark contrast, Tintoretto’s relies on instable diagonals plunging towards the back of the room where dizzying spirals circle around an empty space. As for the elements and people themselves, Leonardo placed them behind limited and well-ordered boundaries, sitting the disciples in sedate positions. Tintoretto scattered them all over the place and sometimes off the painting’s limits, creating a spectacular impression of movement and disorder. Leonardo only painted the disciples seated with Christ in the center of a clear, neutral room, but Tintoretto also depicted several servants at the very front as well as a herd of ethereal angels peeking down from Heaven onto the table. He set the scene in an underground obscure place, without clear open spaces like in Leonardo’s painting. It is interesting to notice that while da Vinci’s Jude is hanging over the table, Tintoretto’s is kneeling at the far end of it. Unlike Leonardo’s well-ordered, placid composition, Tintoretto’s is extremely saturated and agitated.
Leonardo da Vinci is probably the most famous complex artist of the Renaissance and perhaps all time. But what many people dont know is that he wasnt just a genius in art he also excelled in sculpting, architecture and he was also an inventor. Leonardo was born in a small stone house on April 15, 1452. Leonardo started off interesting from the way he was conceived to what happened to his grave ...
The atmospheres depicted in both paintings are also drastically different due to numerous factors. Leonardo’s scene is highly realistic and serene, just like it could have happened in real life. The proportions are carefully respected; the daylight that comes from the windows in the back is natural; the colors are soft and muted, and the characters look like regular human beings, wearing human expressions and having no glowing halos stuck around their heads. The mood is simply solemn and no heavy symbols or spiritual references are used. For example, in both paintings the focus is on Christ, but for different reasons: in da Vinci’s because of the lines and in Tintoretto’s because of the light and the halo’s importance. On the other hand, Tintoretto abandons all measure and reason in favor of a more dramatic vision of the scene. The twisted bodies, the artificial chiaroscuro, the violent colors as well as the supernatural elements like the angels, the halos and the shadow plays enhance the bizarre atmosphere. While Leonardo paints the calm before the storm, Tintoretto’s dangerously crowded and unbalanced scene is somehow theatrical, and the viewer immediately knows something hectic is happening.
Both painters emphasized certain aspects of the scene, and each gave it a specific general meaning. Leonardo’s version is profoundly humanist and he clearly celebrates God through man: all of his figures, including Jesus, look perfectly human, but it still has a very pastoral side to it, as for example Christ’s triangular shape recalls Trinity. The solemnity of it reminds the viewer that it was Christ’s fate to be betrayed and scarify for man. Tintoretto adds a clearly mystic touch to the Last Supper, with the angels and supernatural light that comes from Christ’s head and the burning lamp, casting dark shadows over the place. This comes from the Christian saying that “If the angels were capable of envy, they would envy the Eucharist”. Symbolism is used here, as for example as the complete darkness in the painting symbolizes the domination of ignorance in the human world, since his disciples promised Jesus that they would go to the ignorant human world and they would tell his words to the ignorant people. Christ’s inner light lightens the whole room, as Christians believe he came on Earth to save men from their sin, and even the guilty Jude, who wears no halo, is illuminated. While Leonardo basically says: “this is THE Last Supper, man is the measure of all things, and Jesus was a man. God through man, let’s keep things simple”, Tintoretto answers “This is MY Last Supper, and it’s a completely unique and awesome event, let’s show this is the communion of two worlds”.
Living Two Lives My heart soars like a hawk. Little Big Man was a man of many traits, of many backgrounds. At a young age his life as he knew it came a drastic halt when he and his family we attacked by Indians. He was drug from the tattered wagon by a human being and put on his horse. The Indian had taken Jack back to the others, and not long after, he fell into the tribe like he was one of the ...
Both paintings differ in style and atmosphere, delivering these different impressions. These ideological as well as stylistic dissimilarities are due to the evolution of European art from the High Renaissance to Mannerism. With his natural-looking, human figures, realistic light solid composition and suggested Humanism; Leonardo’s Last Supper is the archetype of the High Renaissance painting. Tintoretto was a Venetian artist, and was therefore used to dramatic use of color and light. His Last Supper rejects the measured principles of the High Renaissance in favor of what’s later to be named Mannerism. This was a more intellectualized form of art, where the painter depicted something the eye could not see and uses basic elements such as light, color and shapes to dramatize and give the scene a theatrical aspect. Just like Tintoretto’s, the compositions are generally unstable and circle around an empty space, and the distorted figures are sculpted by a melodramatic chiaroscuro. Everyone is free to choose his or her favorite version, but man is incredibly lucky that Art evolves and is able to provide such diverse and interesting views of things.