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DW: What did Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” really look like?

19/04/2019

Leonardo’s famous painting “The Last Supper” hides a secret: only 20 percent of the original work is still visible.

In the style of a thriller, the documentary attempts to reconstruct what it originally looked like. Leonardo da Vinci was the epitome of the Renaissance Man. May 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of his death. The artist created world-famous works such as the fresco “The Last Supper” – perhaps the most famous. It is still in its original setting, on the wall of the dining room of the former Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. The painting, which is 4.60 meters high and 8.80 meters wide, has been undergoing restoration for the last 19 years. But the restorers now know that only 20 percent of the original is visible today. So what did something that is the focus of so many legends originally look like? Our investigation also takes us to the small Belgian abbey of Tongerlo, where a mysterious copy of da Vinci’s work has been discovered. It is a painting on canvas that could have been commissioned from da Vinci’s workshop by the French King Louis XII. It has perhaps brought the researchers a step closer to the truth.

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