The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci - where to see in Milan

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This fresco brush of the famous artist of the "Renaissance" Leonardo da Vinci was not always included in the list of Italy's most popular attractions. The rise of popularity took place after the screen adaptation of the novel by Dan Brown "The Da Vinci Code," it was after this sensational film in Milan that a huge stream of tourists flowed into the monastery of Santa Maria del Grazie and problems arose with the purchase of tickets.

In this article, we will tell you in detail about the picture itself, and about how you can get on the tour and see it. And you will be surprised that you can look at the picture not only in Italy.

Attention! In the picture on the right you see a reproduction of a fresco, not a photo. You can see the photo below in this article.

Leonardo wrote this work for four years from 1494 to 1498. Order for this work made the Duke of Milan Lodovico Sforza, he was at that time the ruler of Milan.


Frescos occupy the entire wall of the room, which used to be used as a dining room of the monastery. It is 8.8 meters long and 4.6 meters high. The picture makes a strong impression, and for this it is worth to visit the monastery of Santa Maria del Grazie in Milan.

A picture or a fresco. Many call the Last Supper a painting, but officially it is called a fresco. For those readers who do not understand the difference, we will tell you exactly what these two types of works of art differ from each other.

The fresco is painted on damp plaster. That is why many frescoes have reached us well preserved. The paint penetrates into the plaster, which ensures durability.

The fresco can not be moved to another place, for this you just have to cut the wall somehow. Fresco is always associated with the interior in which it is located.

The most famous fresco in the world is the "Last Judgment" in the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

The Last Supper is not really a fresco, do not look at the official name. Leonardo da Vinci wrote it on a dry surface, and had his reasons for this. The fresco should be written quickly enough until the plaster dries, and the master did not want to hurry.

We will not talk long about the plot, the last meal of Jesus Christ. Jesus is in the center of the picture, 12 apostles around him. Jesus informs his disciples that one of them will betray him. Details on what to look for when looking at the picture we will tell at the end of this article.

Those tourists who tried to find information about the Last Supper in English or Italian noticed that this work is called quite differently. Only in our language it has such a beautiful name. In other European languages, it is called simpler - "The Last Supper." "Last super" - in English or "L'Ultima Cena" - in Italian. These names are useful for buying tickets via the Internet.

The problem with the tickets.

After the release of the movie "Da Vinci Code" the popularity of this attraction has grown very much and still does not cease. Tourists are allowed inside for 15 minutes and a limited group of 25 people. Not always tickets can be bought at the ticket office, at the peak of the season in summer tickets may not be for a week ahead. In winter, the situation is much better, tickets, usually, can be bought on an excursion on the current day.

You can book tickets in advance via the Internet. There are several sites where this can be done. All of them do not have Russian-language versions, only Italian and English.

The first site - is distinguished by democratic prices. The ticket costs only 11.5 euros, including guide services. But on this site you will have to register to buy a ticket, and this procedure is not easy.

The second site - gives you the opportunity to buy tickets without registration, but you still have to drive your contact details and credit card details. The minimum ticket price on this site is 23.5 euros.

The third site - is even more expensive, but it is also the most understandable and convenient. Tickets here buy the easiest, but they cost from 33 euros.

In any case, you will be sent a voucher, which you will need to print and present at the checkout, in exchange for it you will receive a ticket.

What to look at when you get inside.

The Last Supper picture represents the moment when Jesus informs his disciples that one of them will give it. The traitor Judas Iscariot is to the left of Jesus Christ. It is easy to recognize by the clothes of blue and green colors. (in the photo on the right we showed Judah a large red square).

Jesus said, "He who put his hand with me into the dish, this one will betray me . " Indeed, you see that Judas and Jesus are pulling their hands to the same dish. This shows that Judas has already been exposed, but no one at the table does not notice it. We showed our hands using red squares in the photo on the right.

Speaking of photos. Photographing inside is strictly prohibited. Although, many tourists do not stop.

The second thing to look out for is the face of Christ himself. He knows his fate, his expression is not at all like a fright. It was over this face that Leonardo da Vinci worked most.

And, of course, it is worth paying attention to the faces of the apostles. They are in turmoil, everyone is asking Jesus if he is not a traitor. Many have fear or surprise on their faces.

Another interesting detail is at the bottom of the picture, right under Christ. This is part of the doorway, which was done here after the fresco had collapsed from time to time.

There are three secret suppers in the world.

In the monastery of Santa Maria del Grazie in Milan there is the original of the brush by Leonardo da Vinci himself. In fact, from the smears of the master there is not much left. Since the artist painted on a dry surface, in 20 years the Last Supper began to collapse, and in 60 years the figures were already hard to distinguish.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, she was tried several times to restore, but without much success. Only in 1978 the last and successful restoration of the painting began, which lasted 21 years. It would be difficult to say how much the result is similar to the original, but in the world there are two copies of the picture.

They were made by the students of Leonardo, and thanks to this we can judge how today's "Last Supper" corresponds to da Vinci smears. Part of the fresco is completely lost, these are the feet of Jesus (pictured left), they can only be seen on copies.

In Italy, in their place made a doorway, but of course they stayed on the copies. One of these copies is in London at the Royal Academy of Arts. The second copy can be seen in Switzerland in the church of St. Ambrogio.

The monastery of Santa Maria del Grazie is not difficult to find. The easiest way to reach it is via the Milan Metro. You need to get to the station Conciliazione (Conciliazione) the first subway line (red line). From here you can walk to the monastery in 5 minutes.

If you are afraid of getting lost, it's easier to get to the other station of the red line Cordusio (Cordusio) and get on the 16th tram, it stops right next to the basilica. Her you will not be confused with anything (in the photo on the right).

We wish you a successful visit to Milan and an interesting survey of the frescoes of the Last Supper. Read about other sights of Italy in our articles ( links below ).

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