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Elements And Principles Of Art In The Last Supper By Leonardo Da Vinci

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In order to form an artwork, an artist should be familiar with the elements and principles of art. Without the elements of art, artists could not form any kind of artwork since it stands as the ingredient of art. Elements of arts talk about the color, space, value, lines, form and texture. That is the reason why it plays a vital role in making an artwork. Plus, it serves as a guide to the artists to do a more meaningful masterpiece and it adds flavor and own specification. These elements can be considered as a means of communication of the artists towards his audience because artists could use the elements depending on how he wanted to convey his message and emotions to the viewers of the artwork. Just like the elements of art, principles are also an essential part in producing an artwork. The principles of art speaks about on how an artist used those elements to make a unique and organize representation of the art’s message. These set of principles or guidelines allows the viewers as well to have a deeper understanding about the art and for them to become more knowledgeable in analysing a certain work of art. Both elements and principles of art are the foundation of an artwork. The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci (1495-1498) is a very popular painting up to the present time and it was painted in Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy. This painting shows the scene wherein Christ gathered all of the twelve apostles to eat with him, in addition it was also the time that the first sacrament of the Holy Eucharist celebrated. The Holy Eucharist is all about the sacramental wine which symbolizes as the body of Jesus Christ and the sacramental bread that depicts Christ’s body. The Last Supper happened right before Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross. During the last supper, Jesus Christ says to the twelve apostles “One of you will betray me.” and because of that statement Christ’s apostles had different set of reactions. Some of them were shocked, confused, and worried about it. But there is another thing on the painting that is eye-catching, in which Christ trying to reach the glass of wine and bread that set up the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist where Jesus Christ says “Take this bread, for this is my blood, and remember me.” At that moment, both Judas and Jesus Christ holding out the same bowl. Judas is the one who’s going to betray Christ whereas he would receive thirty pieces of silver from the Romans. And if you will look at the painting closely especially to Judas, you will notice his other hand which holding a bag contains the silver plus his face covered with shadow and his side has a darker value than the other that gives an emphasis to his character.

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The Last Supper composed of thirteen people; Jesus Christ and his twelve apostles which caused and illustrates chaos since they are too much for that kind of table. The twelve apostles are being divided into groups of three and their arms, hands, fingers and even gestures that points out Christ in the middle. As you look at the center portion of the painting, you will see Christ automatically. Christ who is the “Divine Center” formed an equilateral triangle that represents a sense of solidity due to its wide base. The table provide as a connector of the whole equilateral triangle from the head and arms of Christ. The perspective lines brings out the attention of the viewers to Christ and it really does help in identifying the center. If you will observe the painting thoroughly at the middle part most especially the window located behind the back of Jesus Christ. Da Vinci used a common architectural feature which is the arch, and placed it on the top of the window that portray as the halo of Jesus Christ. Christ appears to be so calm, his eyes is down while his hand is up and the other one is down. At the right side of Christ are Judas, Peter, and John. Peter who’s the “protector of Jesus” was holding a knife at his back which makes a manifestation that he needs to protect Christ. While at the far right side of Christ are the group of Matthew, Thaddeus and Simon. Located on the left side are the figures of Thomas, Philip, and James Major. Thomas is pointing his index finger upward which maybe a sign that one of Jesus Christ apostles will betray him. Actually, this foreshadows the situation wherein Thomas poked Christ’s wound on the stomach and his proving the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the other hand Philip and James Major have a contrasting gestures and position of their arms. Philip’s arms are very close to one another while James Major is throwing his hands out. Every apostle seated at the back of the table, despite that their bodies’ outline make as a private space, which is outline and form. Leonardo Da Vinci, the painter of the Last Supper creating these four groups of three putting the figures together and overlapping them with one another that creates the drama, tension and contrast because of the figures’ various responses towards Jesus Christ. Da Vinci used naturalistic/realistic figures that made this artwork a representational art. And he also make use of polychromatic or multicolored as the color scheme. Da Vinci utilized different colors aside from black and white to present a more realistic-looking painting. In painting with a lot of people, the expression tells so much about the message that the artist wanted to impart to the viewers. Just like what Leonardo Da Vinci did in his painting; the Last Supper. He unfold the story of the painting in a clear way through the use of various elements and principles of art. There is no doubt that Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” can be considered as one of his greatest artwork/masterpiece.

01 February 2021

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