Last Supper Tours and Tickets
The Last Supper was painted by Leonardo da Vinci between 1494 and 1497 within the framework of the major renovation of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie commenced by order of Ludovico Sforza in 1492. Along with the Monna Lisa at the Paris Louvre, the Last Supper is Leonardo's most famous work. It is one of the paintings most often taken as a symbol of Western Art. It depicts the instant in which Jesus announces to the apostles that he knows one of them will betray him.
Accessibility to visit Leonardo's famous Last Supper are extremely few. Only 25 visitors per 15 minutes are admitted. Booking tickets in advance is obligatory. You can buy your tickets online, or contact the call centre, on +39 02 9280 0360. We regularly research and compare the best Last Supper Tickets & Tour Tickets and Guided Milan Tours for you.
About Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper
Santa Maria delle Grazie is one of the most beautiful churches in Italy. It was built in the 15th century, initially in the late Gothic style, and was rebuilt in the Renaissance style from 1492 by Bramante (1444 -1514). The highlight of the church is the fresco "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci (1452 -1519). It is considered one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of art and captures the moment when Jesus speaks the words: "One of you will betray me". The entrance to what used to be the refectory of the Dominican convent is in the square in front of Santa Maria delle Grazie. It is in this refectory that, between 1495 and 1497, Leonardo da Vinci painted the Last Supper.
The painting occupies all of the wall at the end of the refectory; in the three lunettes over the fresco, below the decorations of the vault (which was destroyed in 1943) are the coats of arms of the Sforza and the Este families surrounded by wreaths, a tribute to Duke Ludovico il Moro and his wife, Beatrice d'Este. Some scholars maintain that the scene by Leonardo of the twelve Apostles seated together with their Lord at the supper table portrays them at the moment when Jesus announced that one of them would betray him, or, as others say, at the moment of the Consecration.
The reaction of the Disciples is apparent from their exaggerated gestures, emotional movements, and facial expressions, and contrasts with the immobility of Christ who dominates the scene from the center of a rigorously symmetrical composition in perfect perspective. The whole scene seems to be bathed in a diffused, gentle light coming partly from the three windows at the far end of the room and partly from the light at the front from the actual window in the real room. The figures are one third bigger than life-size and show masterly particulars of execution: after having done the sketches by pen and outlining the figures in their various poses, Leonardo drew naked figures which he later dressed with color. The painting is done in tempera- forte with a technique that allowed an exquisite fineness in the passage of tones due to the perfect mixing of colors. On the opposite wall, in front of the “Last Supper”, is the great “Crucifixion” painted in fresco by Donato Montorfano in 1495.
The painting was miraculously left undamaged by the bombings of August 1943 which partially destroyed the nearby cloisters and parts of the church. The great painting has always been in a precarious state of conservation, and even Leonardo himself, when he had finished the work, declared that the work suffered from the humidity of the ground on which the building stood. Since 1517 it has steadily deteriorated, mainly because of the new painting technique used by Leonardo as an experiment. When a door was opened up in the wall, one of Christ’s legs was cut, while the restorations carried out in 1726 and 1770 only helped to increase the instability of the colors. At the time of Napoleon, the refectory was used as a stable and in 1801 was flooded by water. In 1953 the fresco was cleaned and consolidated; a complex and radical restoration procedure was completed in the second half of the 1990's so that this marvelous work can now be seen by the public again.