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The Last Supper

 

This painting is an allusion of the Christ history and most similar to the classical mural by Leonardo da Vinci created in the period of 1495 to 1497 in a monastery in Italy. Apart from his predecessors, Leonardo introduced a dramatic feature in his painting, presenting it as a scene of betrayal. He wanted to show, through the images of apostles, real people reacting individually to the happening event.

 

According to the artist's idea, the “language of the flowers” is able to translate the tints of feelings, evoked by the famous words of Christ, “One of you will betray me.”

 

In this painting there are metaphorical characteristics of the whole spectrum of all 12 apostles developing before our eyes. These are expressions of movement and confusion, running like a wave through the apostles following the words of Christ. There is the furious stretching of the arms, the stems, reaching towards the Christ with a silent question. There is the bowing of heads, confronted with the inevitable and the thoughtful browsing through the “Book of Destinies,” seeking an answer. There is also a cowardly turning away, hiding into the “hood” and a metaphor in the broken nut, revealing “hidden plots.”

 

The usual interpretation allows the viewer to easily find Judas among the apostles, for he is opposite the Christ. If the Christ is open to the sun and to the Kingdom of Light, Judas is hiding his face into the “hood,” representing the Kingdom of Darkness.

 

The subtle psychological differentiation, based on the diversity of the faces and gestures, can be expressed with the “language of the flowers,” showing the contrasts according to Leonardo's version.

 

The cut-off grape branch, placed on the edge of the table, symbolizes the Christ's loneliness on this Earth as God's son. “I am the true vine, and my father is the vine grower,” says Christ in the Gospel of St. John. The vine becomes a spiritual symbol of regeneration and the Eucharist; the fermented juice of its grapes is Christ's blood.

 

The head of Christ is turned towards the sky, as if looking up to the Father who sent him to earth to save the human souls. Only the Christ knows what his true mission is: Instead of merely supporting the Kingdom on Earth, he brings the Heavenly Kingdom to the people. He foresees his own destiny and knows his soul is already elsewhere. This is a new imaginary depiction of the event.

 

 

The very choice of the "Last Supper" allusion as the gathering of flowers or in a garden was not random. In ancient tradition, the image of the ideal world is often lost and gained in paradise. In the Gospel of St. John, Maria Magdalena did not recognize Christ standing behind her back, but thought him to be a gardener. The history of the Christ after his arrival to Jerusalem is presented by the development of the flowers and symbols:

 

Palm branches represent the triumphal arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem and the greeting of Jesus, the king.

 

The broken Pomegranate is a symbol of the crucifixion of Christ and his blood.

 

The grapes are symbolic of the spiritual revival, as well as the blood of Christ.

 

The vine that wraps around the "Sunflower’s" stem, aiming at his heart, symbolizes betrayal and the future.

 

Butterflies are symbolic of resurrection. Here they create an unusual halo around the head of Christ, pre-announcing the celebration of the resurrection.

 

The language of the flowers allows the artist to present, in a "natural" way, the thousand-year old drama that appeared between the Christ and Judas.

 

The Roman Coliseum was chosen as the stage setting to reflect the time when the Roman Empire reigned over the land of Israel. It was Pontius Pilot, who made that fatal decision and was one who talked to Jesus. The Coliseum frames the image representing the Roman power as the "realm of evil."

 

S. Dali: "studying the morphology of the sunflower made me to think that this gathering of dots, shadows and curvatures has a somewhat thoughtful look, exactly matching the deepest melancholy of Leonardo da Vinci as a person."

 

Truly, the Sunflower contains a large amount of seeds, symbolically representing the destinies of people and the teachings of Christ. 

 

As a favorite metaphor in his symbolic language, the artist uses flowers to express his understanding of modern society. Other paintings using flowers include, "Arrival of the Flower Ship", “Music of the Woods," "Garden of Eden," and many more.

 

Amongst the flowers representing the apostles are: Bird of Paradise, Calla Lily, Cyclamen, Milk Thistle, Daisy, Heliconia, Anthurium, Fly Catcher, Orchids and Dahlia.

 

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