Leonardo da Vinci

Five hundred years after the artist's death, Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper has continued to inspire both believers and non-believers alike.

Study for Leonardo's 'Last Supper'

Leonardo used the latest scientific techniques to communicate that science and reason lead one toward God.

The power of a fresco: art in human space

One of the least explored and under acknowledged elements of the artwork is that it was painted on a wall. Painting on walls dates back to the beginnings of man, and references the most basic predilection of the human creative spirit: the desire to populate space with imagery.

One-point perspective

Leonardo’s table is almost flush with the front of the painting’s pictorial surface. In fact, the top of the table spills outward, as if in real life the glasses and plates would slide off onto the floor of the dining hall.

The symbolism of numbers

Numbers proliferate within the Last Supper, particularly the numbers three and four and their mathematical multiples. Symbolically, the number three traditionally represents divinity, wholeness, the heavenly realm: It takes three sides to make a complete triangle, which is the minimum number of lines needed to create a closed geometric whole.


The painted room’s architectural proportions abound with Pythagorean musical ratios (12:6:4:3).

A 40-second "hymn" can be found in the painting

According to one scholar, the religious symbolism can also be interpreted as musical notes that, when read from right to left, form a composition.

Rationality, proportion, visibility and numbers in the 'Last Supper' may be a way of understanding and communicating with God.

The painting ought to be seen as a natural expression of a deep theological space, created for mankind to reflect upon using its oldest medium.