The Last Supper
The Last Supper is often looked at as the world's greatest painting. Almost everyone knows the painting when you mention the name. Often, people have copies of the painting in the home. The Da Vinci Code highlights some of strange characteristics in the painting that is supposedly known so well to the world. The theme of this painting is the point that Jesus announces that one of His followers will betray him. The reason we know this is because of the work of Pacioli, who states this in his book, Divina Proportione.
The identities of the individual Apostles is a very argued subject, but based on the inscriptions on the painting in Lugano, from left to right: Bartholomew, James the Younger, Andrew, Judas, Peter, John, Thomas, James the Elder, Philip, Matthew, Thaddeus, and Simon the Zealot. The painting itself is very unique in that all of the individuals show many different emotions and body language.
In The Templar Revelation, Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett claim that there is many different hidden elements to the painting. First, they believe that figure to the right of Jesus (left as we look at it) isn't really John, but a female figure. She is dressed in contrasting colored clothing to Jesus, signifying ying and yang. Second, there is an disembodied hand, holding a knife, close to Peter. Third, to the left of Jesus (right for us), Thomas is looking at Jesus with an upraised finger gesture, the John gesture, as the authors call it. And, finally, the figure of Thaddeus is actually a figure of Leonardo, turning his back to jesus.
When you closely look at the painting, the figure that is claimed to be a woman does have feminine features. Looking closely, one could think that you can see the outlines of a bosom. The figure actually represents Mary Magdalene, explaining the V that is formed between the female figure and Jesus. V is the symbol of the Sacred Feminine.
Whose hand is holding the knife, so closely to Peter? And why does Peter's left hand seem to be cutting the throat of the feminine figure? One can possibly wonder if Leonardo is trying to tell us something about Peter. If you look closer, one can see that the hand does belong to Peter and is being twisted in an odd position by himself.
The restoration of The Last Supper has led to many different interpretions of this so-called hidden symbolism. We will never know if Leonardo was trying to tell us something. The debate over the symbolism and controversy of the painting will continue for a very long time.
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