Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Woman at The Last Supper In 16th Century Art

The above is The Last Supper, ca. 1520, by Giampietrino (Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli), thought to be a student of Leonardo da Vinci in Milan, oil on canvas, 770 x 298 cm (26.26 x 9.78 ft), currently in the collection of The Royal Academy of Arts, London (purchased in 1821, usually on exhibit at Magdalen College, Oxford). This is acknowledged to be an accurate, full-scale copy, so much so that it was the main source for the twenty-year restoration of the original (1978-1998). It includes several lost details such as Christ's feet, the transparent glass decanters on the table, and the floral motifs of the tapestries that decorate the room's interior.

The person to Jesus' right (left in the painting) seems to me to be clearly a woman - look at her hair, features, tilt of her head, her bodice (different from all the others, hands and feet (also different.)

Also why are all the men on her side of the table looking at her? They don’t seem very happy, do they? She seems to be a picture of modesty. What announcement has upset them all? 
Another masterful Last Supper, Federico Barocci's, painted in 1580, seems to follow Da Vinci's and
has a woman seated in the same position:

Federico Barocci, The Last Supper, c. 1580. Oil on canvas, Urbino Cathedral.

Here's still another manifestation:

Hendrick Goltzius, The Last Supper, 1598. Engraving, state i/iii, plate and sheet 20.1 x 13.4 cm. University of San Diego

The second person to Christ's left is pretty clearly a young woman - notice her hair, youthful features, no beard. He also seem to have his arm around a child!