Andrea del Castagno, The Last Supper in the Cenacolo of Sant’ Apollonia, Florence

If you’ve been to Florence, you know how the hordes of tourists can dampen the spirit of art appreciation.  Think of the Uffizi and you know what I mean.

But, there are several places in Florence where you can view Renaissance art up close and personal and rarely have another soul in the room with you.

One of the most amazing of these places is housed within this entrance:

 

ciU9CF5gTteNGmv9cw6LzA

I mean, really, would you even know there was anything at all inside, let alone a masterpiece?

There are no lines at this former convent and no crowds. Few people even know to ring the bell at the nondescript door. What they’re missing is an entire wall covered with the vibrant colors of Andrea del Castagno‘s masterful Last Supper (c. 1450).

The end wall of the large refectory was decorated with frescoes, although these were never known to the outside world since the nuns were strictly cloistered. It was only with the suppression of the convent in 1860 that the existence of this masterful fresco of the Last Supper was revealed. Interestingly, it was initially attributed to Paolo Uccello, but then finally to the true painter, Andrea del Castagno (1421-1457).

Castagno created a richly colored composition, filled with interesting details. For one, the deeply colored “marble” panels fill the middle-ground register and the depiction of black and white ceiling tiles follow a strict linear perspective system.  The long white tablecloth  sets off only one figure: the darkly hued figure of Judas the Betrayer, whose face is painted to resemble a satyr, an ancient symbol of evil.

Another three frescoes were discovered above this one in the 1950s. Three scenes are represented: the Resurrection, the Crucifixion, and the Entombment of Christ. At the time of the restoration in 1952, the three frescoes were removed to be preserved, thus revealing the splendid sinopie that were painted over.

So, here’s the single sign that tells the observant visitor that something wonderful is kept within this sober facade.

fullsizeoutput_1e69

UOx986o8T82h94LO1kCJ9w

TSJrqGuHSp2Veo5rhV9qzA

 

 

 

 

Here is the experience of the refectory:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5YE6PaaBRf6RguOA7VyQgw

 

X8ATCayZRC6yUKbERhFLIw

von9GB9bRxmHeVJLCNa5MA

 

Some introductory information about the artist:

zQICc2jMRHuL6d%vU6T9QQ

 

FOfBMio9SX6jZNTRoiCWeg

 

7H6h2J0+TeKCvcTyQCuntg

 

rLrgWv82QPW1ADCDVv42vA

 

vgvETZ8ARYK2paGegAPHaQ

 

6bOh7ilmTi6SFrK%Eha%aQ

 

CGWBJRHdQrmLO2sIeWQlPw

 

fullsizeoutput_1e6b

 

fullsizeoutput_1e6d

 

fullsizeoutput_1e71

 

fullsizeoutput_1e73

fullsizeoutput_1e79

fullsizeoutput_1e75

 

fullsizeoutput_1e77

 

CAaBRfCYQJ+pJ1zjqfitmA

 

VvJXS27kRZqS5D%TG2llUg

 

FRS9avbBTmqHPW8WBIImTg

 

XYZSGYzeTNiemlUc4LCRww

 

q6g0KhXARGSzSFQuoCRaag

 

tz+SA1pvRom7Z4IsZpdC%w

 

xZEyUfGXQT2FtroFFFYkdQ

 

Hboo1zZVTZmh4WTiD53eWg

 

cfDuOxfWRQijVnoMZaFrGA

 

ZBJxdP5bSkWTpkHko+NERg

 

Mk80R%vTQ+eF7iOTU%RwpQ

 

bTHhZL5ET1uLLAHnq0Avcw

 

VDSF3f0uTl+OMnsijAi+jw

 

C4B3byDWTr6qCzceZjgCow

 

wXTY72WjRd2jIQjeNOxDag

 

S2DMtH24Tt+lFHzZfjSpKg

 

f8hmx4biSyGR38sIjp5aNw

 

P+34HlcETii2FZrO2faGbg

 

3xbjdgM2Rqid7YuNdrvfDw

 

C1UwINQyTR2tQC+stdTj2w

 

EoQj7WSURKaBJ5SThWE72g

 

ZXksXdKsTkeB7J8At+mqPQ

 

Xy0c8G8xS8aeR7RDl2Z3IQ

 

TIOAXCDSQgOUkSN%zzYliw

 

fullsizeoutput_1e7b

 

ElL10CY4QHahbDg638H8zg

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.