Segments in this Video

Restoration of the "Last Supper" (05:30)


The "Last Supper" (1447) is restored over a period of 20 years, during which time many facts and details of the painting are revealed. A nail hole reveals where Leonardo placed the central location of Jesus. Computer imagery shows the room as it would have been in reality.

Digital Recreation of Leonardo's Masterpiece (01:36)

Historical studies and computer technology reveal how Leonardo's famous painting may have looked immediately after he painted it. This rich recreation provides information that can no longer be gleaned from the painting itself.

"Last Supper," Digitally Remastered (05:27)

High school students share their impressions of the digitally remastered "Last Supper." Students observe interaction of characters, individual reactions to Jesus, and static dynamism around the serene, central figure of Jesus. The students cannot readily identify Judas, the betrayer.

Which Disciple is Judas? (07:24)

Prior to Leonardo's masterpiece in 1477, painters depicted Judas separated from the other disciples and therefore easy to identify. Students speculate about the identity of Judas in the "Last Supper."

"Last Supper" on the Streets of New York. (04:28)

Amelia Arenas takes a copy of the "Last Supper" to the streets of Manhattan to see how it affects people. They have different ideas about which disciple is Judas, the traitor. No one from the past or present completely understands the meaning of the complex painting.

Analysis of Space in Leonardo's Masterpiece (04:28)

Students speculate about the arrangement of disciples at the dinner table, the placement of the table in the room, the lack of stools or chairs, and the viewer's perspective of the events in the painting.

Viewers and the "Last Supper" (01:59)

In earlier paintings where Judas traditionally sits in front of the table is now the space for viewers to "sit." The tablecloth acts as a screen on which viewers project their feelings mirrored in the figures flanking Jesus.

Leonardo's Artistic Rendition of Hands (02:31)

Leonardo's philosophy that human feeling should be evident in the position/movement of the hands and arms of his figures is evident in the "Last Supper." Leonardo duplicates hand positions and shapes in some of his other paintings.

Human Drama of the "Last Supper" (04:53)

What did Leonardo intend to signify by the puzzling body language in his painting? Students make observations about the similarity of physiognomy among several of the figures. They compare Leonardo's sketch of a criminal with the disciples’ faces.

Universal Betrayal and the "Last Supper" (05:02)

Because identity of Judas is not definitive, the search for the traitor extends into the viewers' world as well. Who is the betrayer? It is not only one person, but all people are capable of such a betrayal. "Is it me?" the disciples ask.

Meaning of "Last Supper" (04:59)

The work of Leonardo da Vinci contains riddles that are still being unraveled 500 years later. The "Last Supper," like all great art, exists in the beholder, its meaning different for each one. In that sense, viewers "use" works of art in their own world of understanding and interpretation.

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The Last Supper in New York

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"One of you will betray me." In The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci broke with tradition and seated Judas amidst the other disciples, and in so doing added many layers of meaning and mystery to that masterpiece. In this captivating program, art historian Amelia Arenas uses a full-scale digital replica of the painting to stimulate discussion among a group of high school students. Together, they express their impressions and insights, analyzing the painting’s content and composition while attempting to identify which figure is the traitor. Computer graphics and footage of the original undergoing restoration enhance this engaging educational resource. (53 minutes)

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL10949

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

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Recommended by MC Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship.

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Only available in USA and Canada.