- Home ›
- The Last Supper ›
The Last Supper
Flandrin’s first major commission was for a series of murals in the Chapel of Saint John at the Church of Saint-Séverin, in the Latin Quarter...The subjects for the murals, which had already been chosen by the parish clergy in cooperation with the prefecture, were the Calling of Saint John, the Martyrdom of Saint John, the Last Supper, and Saint John on Patmos. Flandrin probably created the four oil paintings in the Snite Museum collection to show the client how the final compositions would appear on the walls of the chapel. … The final murals in the Chapel of Saint John are nearly identical to the Snite Museum’s four small oil paintings. If these were indeed the original images presented for approval by the parish and the officials of the prefecture, then Flandrin made very few changes in transferring his compositions to the walls of the chapel. … Flandrin has placed Christ at the center of the table, with the apostles grouped evenly on either side. What is striking...is the extremely sparse setting, with nothing except a table to indicate that this is even a meal. There are no plates or glasses to suggest the Seder celebration, only a loaf of bread and a chalice. On the right side of the painting, and also in the wall mural at Saint-Séverin, the cut-off figure of Judas hurries away from the table, leaving his green cloak behind on an empty stool.
from Weisberg, Breaking the Mold: The Legacy of the Noah L. and Muriel S. Butkin Collection of Nineteenth-Century French Art (Notre Dame, 2012)