One of Leonardo da Vinci's greatest wall murals was his painting of The Last Supper' in Milan, Italy

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If you enjoy going into old buildings such as churches and museums you will likely look up to the ceilings and walls and be amazed at the wall murals painted on them. You can not help but admire the craftsmanship and the hours of painstaking work that went in to producing such tremendous wall murals.

One of the most famous wall murals is Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’. It represents the scene of John 13:21 which says when Jesus had said this he was troubled in spirit, and gave witness, saying, “Truly I say to you, that one of you will be false to me” referring to Judas who would later betray him. Surely of all the wall murals painted, this masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci’s rates as one of the most poignant.

Painting wall murals was just one of da Vinci’s many talents. da Vinci was also a musician, inventor, botanist, architect and sculptor among others. But it is his wall murals that he is most famous. ‘The Last Supper’ is 29 ft x 15 ft and can be seen on the wall of the dining room that is in the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie for the Sforza family in Milan, Italy.

As expected to undertake painting wall murals of this size took a a lot of planning and design to make sure every part is in proportion. Although da Vinci began painting in 1495 he did not paint continually but took 3 years to complete it. Wall murals were very popular at this time and there were even other wall murals in the monastery itself, so he was probably working on a number of projects at the time. It is not un-conceievable that da Vinci could have used other people to work on his wall murals thus enabling for him to work on a number of wall murals at the same time.

When you study da Vinci’s wall murals as well as his other works you can tell the thought that goes into them. His wall murals display his grasp of the situation, especially ‘The Last Supper’. If you examine the expressions on the faces and the position of the apostles on the wall murals stretched out image it aptly reveals their feelings. Bartholomew, Andrew and James are each surprised. Judas is portrayed as taken aback obviously as his plan has now been revealed. da Vinci also paints him holding a small bag. This doubtless is because he has accepted his blood money of 30 pieces of silver he took from the religious leaders to betray Jesus (Judas also being the treasurer.) Thomas, Philip and James show different expression on their faces from upset to stunned showing the emotions they must have felt because they did not know which of the Apostles Jesus was referring to, that was going to betray him.

Wall murals have been a great medium to record history but the very fact wall murals are painted on plastered walls means they will deteriorate over time, even more so than canvas. It began to flake as early as 1517. Restoration on the wall murals were carried out in 1726 and 1770. A number of attempts to clean or repair it until in 1978 when a major restoration took 20 years to restore it to it’s former glory.

This does not take anything away from the wall murals effect on a persons viewing it. It is just amazing that it has survived down to this day.

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