The Last Supper Painting

The Last Supper, painted by Leonardo da Vinci between 1494 and the beginning of 1498, is one of the most important mural paintings in the world.

This masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, housed in the Refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, is a significant attraction that attracts visitors worldwide.

This work holds significant historical and cultural importance as it depicts the event of the Last Supper in the Bible.

The Last Supper original painting commissioned by Leonardo’s patron, the Duke of Milan captures a crucial moment after Jesus reveals that one of his apostles will betray him.

It outlines the apostles’ shocked, horrified and enraged facial expressions with remarkable realism.

With the special introduction and skip-the-line access, you can unravel the mystery of The Last Supper and delve deeper into the profound beauty of this famous work of art.

Why is the Last Supper so popular?

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci is widely regarded as one of history’s most popular and iconic artworks. 

Its popularity can be attributed to several factors. 

Firstly, the painting marked a turning point in art history, showcasing a new era of artistic techniques and expression. 

Leonardo’s use of perspective, meticulously measured proportions and strategic placement of lines draw the viewer’s eye to the center and the vanishing point near Christ’s head. 

The ambiguous expression on Christ’s face has puzzled art historians for centuries, adding to the painting’s allure. 

Also, the painting of the Last Supper reflects Leonardo’s diverse interests and skills, showcasing his expertise as an architect, sculptor, engineer, inventor, mathematician, anatomist and writer. 

With its impressive span of 8.80 meters, the Last Supper captivates viewers with its monumental simplicity. 

The composition skillfully highlights the dramatic contrast between the attitudes of the 12 disciples and the serene presence of Christ.

Leonardo’s meticulous studies of light, sound, movement and human emotions imbued the painting with intense and complex dynamics among the figures. 

This enabled him to capture the dramatic moment when Jesus announces the betrayal effectively.

The enduring popularity of the Last Supper lies in its ability to transcend time and engage viewers with its artistic brilliance and profound storytelling.

Where is the Last Supper painting?

The refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie church in Milan, Italy, houses the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. 

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the church and monastery provide a fitting setting for Leonardo’s masterpiece. 

Admired by visitors worldwide, many marvel at its exquisite detail, composition and portrayal of the influential biblical narrative.

Opposite to Leonardo’s masterpiece, you can also appreciate Giovanni Donato da Montorfano’s enormous fresco of The Crucifixion, creating a captivating contrast of biblical narratives.

The Delicate Technique

The Delicate Technique
Image: The Everett Collection (Canva)

Leonardo da Vinci used a dry method to paint the Last Supper. Instead of painting directly on wet plaster, he applied colors onto a prepared layer on the wall. 

This made the painting more vulnerable and fragile compared to frescoes.

Over the years, the painting suffered pigment loss and underwent numerous restoration attempts, which altered its appearance and further compromised its preservation.

Strict measures are in place to prevent further deterioration.

The air quality in the refectory is carefully controlled and only small groups of visitors are allowed inside. 

Access to the painting is limited, with restricted viewing times and a controlled flow of visitors. 

Automatic doors provide natural air filtering, reducing potential harm from pollutants.

Last Supper tickets

Obtaining tickets to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper can be challenging due to the painting’s fragility and the limited number of visitors allowed inside the room. 

Only 18 visitors are allowed into the room every 15 minutes to ensure the preservation of the painting. 

Consequently, getting the Last Supper Milan tickets can be incredibly difficult. 

The tickets for The Last Supper are released for sale in three-month increments, often selling out quickly. 

We recommend booking well in advance, as even organized tours can reach capacity. 

The simplest way to get these popular tickets is often by joining a tour with access to Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Remember, these tickets are in high demand and limited supply, making them one of the most coveted attractions in Milan.

Below are some of the most popular Last Supper tickets or tours.

The Last Supper one-hour guided tour

One of the most popular Last Supper tickets is the one-hour guided tour.

With a licensed local guide, you will enjoy insights into the perspective, composition, technique and history of the Last Supper.

Price: €71 ($78)

Milan historical walking tour with the Last Supper ticket

Another well-known city tour lets you dive into the captivating realm of Renaissance art and architecture.

You can experience the best of Milan’s history with a Last Supper ticket and a guided walking tour through the city.

The half-day tour includes a ticket to Da Vinci’s masterpiece and takes you to famous places like the Duomo, La Scala, and Sforza Castle.

Price: €76 ($83) 

The Last Supper and Santa Maria delle Grazie tour

Discover the extraordinary masterpiece of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci on a guided tour of the historic Santa Maria delle Grazie church.

You can marvel at the intricate details and learn about the Golden Age of Italian art during the Renaissance.

Price: €65 ($71) 

Last Supper ticket & Sforza Castle tour

This guided walking tour of Milan includes an entrance to the Last Supper painting and a visit to the iconic Sforza Castle. 

You can benefit from skip-the-line access and explore the remarkable museums within the castle.

Price: €83 ($91)

Da Vinci’s Last Supper, Vineyard and Science Museum

Experience the ultimate Leonardo da Vinci tour.

This includes visiting Da Vinci’s Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie, exploring Leonardo’s vineyard and a guided tour of Milan’s Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology.

Price: €104 ($114)

Duomo and the Last Supper guided tour

Skip-the-line entry tickets to the Duomo and the Last Supper and a guided tour allow you to appreciate Da Vinci’s masterpiece fully.

Also, marvel at the medieval Sforza Castle from the outside and visit the vibrant Brera district.

Price: €113 ($124)

Deterioration and Restoration

The Last Supper began to deteriorate shortly after its completion. 

Historical records from the 16th and 17th centuries describe its decay and fading appearance. 

Leonardo’s unconventional technique of painting on dry plaster, using greasy tempera made with egg yolk, allowed for meticulous work but contributed to the painting’s fragility. 

Since the 18th century, multiple restoration attempts have shifted toward preserving and consolidating the artwork rather than extensive reconstruction or repainting.

There are numerous images for the Last Supper online,  ranging from older versions to newer restored ones. 

The Last Supper painting secrets

Over time, Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting has led to speculation about hidden messages and secrets. 

Some theories, popularized by books like The Da Vinci Code, suggest that Mary Magdalene is depicted as the person to Jesus’ right. 

They claim that the letter ‘M’ in the center of the painting represents Matrimonio or Mary Magdalene. 

However, art historians argue that the figure is the Apostle John, who appears feminine in line with Leonardo’s fascination with blurring gender boundaries. 

They point out that if John is depicted as effeminate, so are other figures in the painting.

Moreover, Mary Magdalene being at the Last Supper wouldn’t have been a problem, as she was highly respected as the ‘Apostle to the Apostles.’

The mysteries and interpretations of The Last Supper keep fascinating art lovers and historians.


Where is the real Last Supper painting?

You can experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Last Supper original in Milan, Italy. 

Kept in Santa Maria delle Grazie’s dining hall, the Last Supper holds great cultural and historical importance.

Who painted the Last Supper?

The Last Supper was painted by the renowned Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci between 1494 and 1498. 

What are 3 facts about the Last Supper painting?

Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, from the Renaissance era, is famous for its artistic excellence. 

It shows Jesus Christ’s last meal with his disciples before his crucifixion.

The figures’ composition, perspective, and emotions have made this painting one of the world’s most renowned and impactful artworks.

What is the meaning of the Last Supper painting?

The meaning of The Last Supper is in its depiction of the important moment when Jesus discloses an upcoming betrayal by one of his disciples.

The picture’s strong symbols and arrangement make it an enduring and iconic portrayal of this important event in Christian history.

What is the Last Supper?

The Last Supper refers to Jesus’ final meal with his apostles before his crucifixion, as described in the Gospels. 

Commemorated by Christians, particularly on Holy Thursday, this significant event holds deep spiritual and symbolic meaning in the context of Jesus’ sacrifice.

What is the mystery of the Last Supper painting?

The mystery of the Last Supper Leonardo da Vinci painting holds mysteries explored in ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ 

The novel by Dan Brown suggests hidden symbols, including the search for the Holy Grail and the possibility that St. John was Mary Magdalene and married to Jesus. 

These theories have sparked debates and captivated audiences worldwide.

Featured Image: Smithsonianmag.com

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!