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Frescoes of the Last Supper

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The refectories frescoed with the Last Supper are among the most interesting artistic monuments in Florence. As a result of the suppressions of religious orders which took place in the 18th and 19th century, a great many Florentine convents have been turned into museums. In them visitors can directly experience the art of the several excellent painters who in various periods have sought to express the beguiling spirituality of the Last Supper which Christ took with His disciples. Again and again in these refectories, which at one time were entered only by members of the religious orders, we are moved by the implicit tension between the concrete representation of domestic utensils and foodstuffs, and the high drama of the mystery of salvation proclaimed by Christ in the institution of the Eucharist.

This itinerary barely takes us outside the very centre of the city. We begin at Santa Croce, where the former refectory of the Franciscan convent is frescoed, beneath the great Tree of Life, with Taddeo Gaddi's 14th-century Last Supper. We cross the river and find at Santo Spirito a fragment Orcagna's fresco of the same subject. In the refectory of Sant'Apollonia we find the dramatic, rigorously perspective version of Andrea del Castagno. In those of Ognissanti and San Marco we admire the bright, neat colours of Domenico Ghirlandaio, and in the former convent "di Fuligno" Perugino's triumph of light. The Last Supper painted in the convent of the Calza by Franciabigio clearly shows the influence of Leonardo da Vinci, while the grandiose fresco by Andrea del Sarto at San Salvi has the monumentality we associate with Michelangelo.

The Last Supper in Sant'Apollonia
The Last Supper by
Andrea Del Castagno
(1450 ca.).
The Last Supper in San Marco
The Last Supper by
Domenico Bigordi,
detto (del) Ghirlandaio,
(1480 ca.).
The Last Supper in San Salvi - detail
The Last Supper in San Salvi
the former convent "di Fuligno"
The Last Supper by
Andrea del Sarto,
particolare (1527).
The Last Supper by
Andrea del Sarto
The Last Supper by
Pietro Vannucci, detto il Perugino,
e bottega  (1495 ca.).


The Last Supper by Francesco di Cristofano
The Last Supper by Francesco di Cristofano,
detto il Franciabigio (1514).

Frescoes of the Last Supper in Florence:
  • Cenacolo of Santa Croce, Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce, piazza Santa Croce, piazza Santa Croce, Taddeo Gaddi's Last Supper (about 1340).
  • Cenacolo of Santo Spirito, Ancient Refectory of Santo Spirito, Museo della Fondazione Romano, piazza Santo Spirito, fragment of the Last Supper of Andrea di Cione, called Orcagna (about 1370).
  • Cenacolo of Sant'Apollonia, Museo del Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia, via XVII Aprile n. 1, Andrea Del Castagno's Last Supper of (about 1450).
  • Cenacolo of Ognissanti, Cenacolo del Ghirlandaio, via Borgognissanti, 42, the Last Supper of Domenico Bigordi, called Ghirlandaio (about 1480).
  • Cenacolo of San Marco, refectory of the ex guest-room, 1, piazza San Marco, Ghirlandaio's Last Supper (about 1482).
  • Cenacolo of Fuligno, Museo dell'ex Conservatorio di Sant'Onofrio, or of Fuligno, via Faenza n. 42, Last Supper of Pietro Vannucci, called Perugino, and workshop (about 1495).
  • Cenacolo "della" Calza, Convento della Calza, piazza della Calza n. 6, Ultima Cena Last Supper of Francesco di Cristofano, called Franciabigio (1514).
  • Cenacolo of San Salvi, monastery of San Michele in San Salvi, museum of the cenacolo di San Salvi, 16, via di San Salvi, Andrea del Sarto's Last Supper (1527).

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