Though earlier artwork depicted the 13 subjects as saints, da Vinci’s work, pictured, suggests the disciples were common people, and that Jesus himself was actually mortal. This is due to a lack of halos, which can be seen in all earlier versions of the scene
Leonardo da Vinci’s painting is not the only version of The Last Supper.All earlier versions of the scene paint Jesus and disciples each with a haloBut, da Vinci's version omits this feature, implying they are common menExperts say this suggests the artist was indicating that Jesus was mortal
While da Vinci’s painting may be the most widely recognized, it is not the only version of The Last Supper, the Smithsonian Channel explains.There are numerous other renditions of Jesus and the 12 disciples that preceded da Vinci’s 15th century painting.
And, all others have one thing in common which sets them apart from their successor – halos.
In da Vinci’s version of this scene, not even Jesus is shown to have a halo around his head.
‘Before Leonardo da Vinci, all versions of The Last Supper showed Jesus and his disciples with halos, in effect, portraying them as saints,’ the video explains.
‘But, da Vinci chose to ignore this convention and paint them without halos.’
THE SECRET MESSAGE
Though the claims made in the novel and film The Da Vinci Code were false, experts say there is actually a hidden message in Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper.
This can be seen in the lack of a halo around each of the 13 subjects' heads.
In all earlier versions of the scene, Jesus and his disciples are each shown with a halo, depicting them in a saint-like way.
Da Vinci's omission of this feature suggests they were common men, and that Jesus was mortal.
There are numerous other renditions of Jesus and the 12 disciples that preceded da Vinci’s 15th century painting. And, all others have one thing in common which sets them apart from their successor – halos. A painting from the 14th century is pictured above
In da Vinci’s version of this scene, not even Jesus is shown to have a halo around his head. In the 14th century painting above, all subjects at the table are shown to have a halo
In the novel The Da Vinci Code, and the film that followed, the painting played a critical role, with the story claiming that the figure sitting to Jesus’s right is Mary Magdalene, rather than the disciple John.
This was said to imply that Mary was ‘The Holy Grail.’
The arguments made in the fictional book were met with harsh criticism by some, and experts say there is no doubt that the figure is actually John.
But, in one way, the novel wasn’t entirely off the mark in its interpretation of the painting, according to Smithsonian.
‘Leonardo da Vinci is communicating a subtle message with his Last Supper,’ the video explains. ‘He’s telling us that Jesus was a mortal – a theme echoed in The Da Vinci Code.’
According to Taddei, the people depicted in da Vinci’s painting are not saints but are instead ‘simple men,’ implying that Jesus, too, was mortal. The artwork above, painted just years before da Vinci's version, shows Jesus and each of the 12 disciple with a halo around their heads
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- What is the secret message in the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo in Rome?
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