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Art Explained: Measuring the Last Supper

J. Antonio FARFAN Measuring the Last Supper New Year 5777 (2016) Transfer, acrylic and oil on panel 36 x 48 x 4in. (91.4 x 121.9 x 10.2 cm)

Private Collection; Ridgefield, Connecticut.

This project, with emphasize on research regarding Leonardo’s mural of the Last Supper at the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy, has amounted to an extensive body of work. The research is privately funded by the sale of paintings and drawings referencing material that answer questions left open by the last two hundred years of inquiry into the work of the master artist. This has become my life’s work and it is hoped that the completed research will one day provide fresh ground for a completely new perspective on the paintings and writings of Leonardo da Vinci.


The closer exploration of the Last Supper mural is a rediscovery of aspects of Leonardo that were once considered lost in translation or concealed by Leonardo himself. A thorough examination of the mural would not be complete without a consideration of its context in a larger framework. Leonardo’s visual vocabulary extends into the universal and the relationships he formed comparing the body of man and the cycles of the earth were paramount to his endeavors as an artist and thinker. Nothing he drew or painted was superfluous. His interest was in the patterns formed from a common connection in with quantifiable measurements. The relationships he found acknowledged the continual pattern in the universe and formulated a clear image of the words left behind by ancient thinkers. I propose that Leonardo's drawings were far more than a basis for painting - they were in fact the research itself. He acknowledges the existence of a higher power -a God whom found His way into Leonardo’s vocabulary through Aristotle’s primary force, Primo Motore, whose purpose set motion to the universe. Leonardo’s entire purpose was in efforts to better understand the intention for humanity as defined by the natural cycles of the universe and outside the dogma and expectations of the Church.

The work of Leonardo da Vinci is the most important part of my work as an artist. I find it fascinating and historically incomplete. He was an artist that despite the misconception of disorganization, was following a specific plan till the end of his life in 1519. The mural of the Last supper of Christ in milan is one of the artists greatest contributions to art and one of my strongest inspirations.

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