The day I saw The Last Supper
It was a Thursday afternoon in the streets of Milan, Italy when along with 3 more Latinos I decided to go to The Basilica of Santa Maria de la Gracia. Adjacent to this place is The Vincentian Cenacle where the great work of Leonardo Da Vinci is: The Last Supper.
The place closed its doors at 6:00 pm. It was something like 5:00 pm which meant we would still have a couple of minutes to appreciate this painting. We arrived to the door, where 2 girls were sitting and I had to try my Italian. After a conversation of about 4 minutes in Spanish, English and my greeting in Italian we were informed that the only way to enter the place was with a reservation previously made. This is usually booked a week in advance. Shit!
It was Thursday and the other day at 10:00 am I had to take my bus to Torino. “I missed this change to see this painting”, I thought. However, one of the girls takes a breath to say something else. I listened to her attentively and she tell us that we could go tomorrow morning because there are people who usually cancel the reservations and we could take one of tickets that they do buy. If we were lucky it could be for the same day, otherwise next week. Having no other option, we left the place and set my mental alarm for the next day at 7:00 am. The place opened at 8:00 am so I would have enough time to commute
It was Friday I was on my way to go back to the basilica. While being in the front desk I asked for a ticket. I was lucky! There was a visit at 9:15 a.m. which lasted for 15 minutes. I immediately bought my ticket and made a little time having coffee with a croissant in a cafe located in front of the basilica.
“9:15 am” Was said from in front of a glass door. That was my tour! They opened the first door we entered into a small space. This door closed and in front of us was another thick glass door that was closed at that moment. 2 minutes later, the other one opened leading us to be in front of another closed door. We had very little space between these two doors. We could already see in front of us a big room that looked a bit dark. After a brief historical introduction made by the guide, the door was opened allowing these new spectators to witness this painting. The room had very dark light and you could only see a pair of lights pointing at each end on the walls. The place was about the size of a basketball court and was quite loud. Just as I came in, I turned my gaze to the right. Just as I saw the Last Super I had an unspeakable feeling. It was a nice feeling a bit hard to describe.
In front of me was something real and palpable: The original work of The Last Supper. From my childhood, in Colombia, I had seen the same painting, but in everything, you can imagine: Wooden pictures, paintings, posters, ceramics, etc. Most of our grandmothers in Colombia have the picture of the Last Supper. But I never ask myself about the location of this work of Da Vinci. And there I was. Standing in front of a wall the size of 2 soccer arches (one on top of the other), which was painted between 1494 and 1498.
The guide began to speak. However, at that moment I decided to focus my attention on the details of that mural. Having been painted on a dry plaster, unlike the normal paintings where the paints are mixed in a damp plaster, it has not withstood the passage of time perfectly. After a couple of years of being painted, it began to have problems with the humidity of the place. Because of this, the paint has been remodeled several times. It has also been attacked by vandals and even part of the building where it is right now was bombed during the wars. It is said that today there is very little left of the real Last Supper that Da Vinci painted.
After about 15 minutes the tour was finished. A new sensation remained in my mind to keep in my box of sensations. My camera got a couple of details that perhaps are not in The Last Supper that is hanging at my grandmother´s living room.
Here I leave this link for you in case you want to read more information about Milan in Italy and this well-known work: https://www.disfrutamilan.com/la-ultima-cena-leonardo-da-vinci