The Last Supper

The famous ceremony told as “The Eucharist” was followed in the belief of Christianity. The Eucharist which is more popularly known as the Last Supper was the final meal that Jesus Christ shared with his twelve apostles before he was crucified. According to Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. ” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. ” (New International Version) Basically, about two-thousand years ago, Jesus Christ knew one of his disciples by the name of Judas had betrayed him, and Jesus also knew that the King had sent his roman soldiers to arrest him for his crucifixion.

The Last Supper was relayed differently in different parts of the world to carry on tradition, relay different messages, or add symbols to represent their version. An example of religious symbolism could be the high ceilings of cathedrals. During the Renaissance period the high ceilings were made to lift your spirit up towards God when you look up at them. The main focus of my paper is the difference in meaning of two paintings that were created to review the Last Supper. There is a famous painting that is supposed to represent the “Spanish Version of the Last Supper” by Marcos Zapata in about 1753.

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This painting can be found in the Cathedral of Cuzco, Peru (Palmer). Marcos Zapata was known as one of the last members of the Cuzco School. The Cuzco School was an art center which taught the native Spanish students how to paint different styles of work; one main style was religious art (Bakewell). What makes this painting of the Last Supper different from any other painting is Marcos added traditional symbols and he also made it focus more of the time period in which he lived in. The raditional aspect he added was that the table is hosting a traditional Spanish dish of guinea pig or cuy. The table also has 2 more platters of native food that is usually served with cuy that includes red, purple, tan, and yellow potatoes as well as red and yellow rocotos, or spicy peppers and corn (Hamre). The other clever way that Marcos made this painting his-own was by arranging Jesus’ apostles in groups of two, with 6 on either side of him. Also he flooded Jesus with light and put him in the middle of the painting.

Another interesting way Marcos altered his painting from previous pieces, was the figure that is supposed to represent Judas (bottom right) clutching a bag of money beneath the table while staring out of the painting would have a resemblance to Francisco Pizarro (Palmer). Marcos also altered the painting by changing it from the traditional straight table with Christ in the middle and six disciples on each side of him, to making some of the disciples with their backs facing the viewers. Also the scenery in the background is much different than any of the other paintings of the Last Supper.

Marcos would not have been nearly as popular with this painting if he didn’t add his own version to this. With all of the tradition, culture, and history added to this painting actually makes viewers search deep into the art work and try to find more theories that could be represented in this very painting. The other painting this paper focuses on is the very famous and popular Last Supper painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. Leonardo Da Vinci growing up didn’t get much granted to him, but given that he could always make something out of nothing.

Growing up in a new town where he didn’t know much, he would venture off as a kid. One day, Leonardo once was wondering around Francesco, a small town of Vinci; where he found a cave. Leonardo would never enter the cave because he was scared that a monster would be in there. Since the cave would always bring up curiosity toward Leonardo, he painted a piece of the cave and a monster coming out of it. This piece was so well painted and creative that a Florentine art dealer bought the piece and then sold it to the Duke of Milan (Rosci).

After creating many amazing pieces of artwork, twenty-one years later Leonardo painted the Last Supper. Leonardo Da Vinci was working for Ludovico Sforza; the Duke of Milan when the Duke decided he wanted a religious scene painted that could fit the whole wall. Well, four years later Leonardo finished the Last Supper which was a 15×29 foot painting. Leonardo created the Last Supper to capture the moment of when Christ was acknowledging the betrayal of one of his disciples. In the Spanish Version of the Last Supper by Marcos Zapata, he compared Judas to Francisco Pizarro because Judas was the disciple known to betray Jesus.

Judas directed the King and the Roman soldiers to Jesus the day after the Last Supper where Jesus was then cruxified on the cross. For doing that, Judas received 30 pieces of silver. The reason why Francisco Pizarro was compared to Judas by Marcos was because while Francisco was traveling the Pacific off the coast of Peru, he was searching for silver, gold, and other’s personal treasures. In the thirteenth century, Francisco and his recruits reached a village named, Cajamarca, where the emperor named, Atahuallpa had just won a civil battle against his family and became wealthy off the riches.

Atahuallpa invited Francisco and his recruits to a celebration because he didn’t feel the Spanish was a threat. Francisco and his recruits used that friendly disquize and captured Atahuallpa and killed thousands of his people. Atahuallpa offered a large ransom to be set free. But Francisco killed Atahuallpa and took all of the riches anyways (Enchanted Learning). The comparison between Judas and Francisco was very similar and creative. But Leonardo didn’t add much of his of his tradition or culture; although he did add religion.

Leonardo actually combined all of the Gospels in this painting which includes the Eucharist, the twelve disciples, and the wine and bread. Creativity, religion, and talent were the only things Leonardo Da Vinci needed to make this master piece. With both of these artists and their talents, they made history in lives and gave many researchers tasks to find the theories these artists may have hidden in their painting. Relaying messages and tradition can be portrayed in different ways; Leonardo Da Vinci and Marcos Zapata relayed them in their art.

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