Last Supper, Salvador Dali, 1955
- Posted by Salvador Dali
- Museum: National Art Gallery (Washington)
- Year: 1955
Overview of the painting :
Last Supper – Salvador Dali. 1955. Oil on canvas. 167×268
The artist’s fantasies on the Gospel themes fill the familiar plot with new content. Only outwardly does the picture resemble the fresco of the great Leonardo (similar gestures, accommodation of participants at the table). The atmosphere of work is completely different.
The author intentionally transfers the action of the picture to modern space. Above the table is a glass dome, behind which a lifeless landscape opens: the sea, rocky islands, a multi-colored sky.
Among those sitting at the stone table, only the central figure of Christ looks alive. The students, almost bowing their heads, listen to the Teacher. Listen? Or sleep, lulled by the sounds of His voice? The viewer is independently forced to interpret the postures of the apostles.
A translucent hand-held torso is hanging over the table. On the one hand, he, as the Holy Spirit, unites all participants in the evening, on the other, acts as a kind of forerunner of the imminent crucifixion.
Geometrically accurate picture perspective. Perfectly placed halves of bread. Pupils at the table are placed according to the laws of perfect central symmetry.
The air, purity and translucency of the figure of Christ is opposed to the reality and heavyness of the figures of the disciples. The viewer has the impression that after a moment everything will melt in a blue haze: dome, Christ, the stone table itself. The whole picture is like sketching a sensitive, shallow dream, ready to interrupt at any moment.
What is the meaning of the artist in his work? Each viewer formulates the answer to this question in his own way. Someone sees in the picture only a meaningless game of fantasy, someone finds a new reading of the Gospel plot in the picture. As usual in the artist’s works, the author’s position remains “open”, inexplicable, fuzzy.