Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Cenacolo Vinciano

Wednesday, 2 May, 2018

One of the major art attractions in Milano is Leonardo Di Vinci's The Last Supper.

Getting tickets to see it are not easy, as only 30 people are allowed in at a time for a 15 minute visit, due to concerns for the masterpiece's long term conservation.

I had to buy our tickets two months in advance in order to get in during the month of May when Laurie would be here to enjoy seeing it with me.

Our tickets were for a 3:30 p.m. admittance, so we decided to take the 10:35 train from Venegono Inferiore to arrive in Milano at about 11:30 thus giving us time for lunch in the city before our viewing.

Since it was raining again today, apparently Laurie's California weather mojo has lost its luster, we decided to ride the Metro from Milano's Cadorna train station to . . .

. . . the Duomo exit

It is true, this view never is boring to me.

I decided that it was time for Laurie to try the lasagna at the Peck Gourmet Deli.

As always, it was amazing.

So were Peck's desserts

 Although we only looked,
physical fitness is our creed

A short ride on the 16 tram heading toward venerable Stadio San Siro, dropped us off at the site of The Last Supper.

Di Vinci's opus is located in the refectory of the ancient Dominican monastery of the . . .

. . . Chiesa Santa Maria delle Grazie

We picked up our two ducats, but still had a good 45 minutes to kill before our group of 30 art lovers needed to report to the entry doors.

What to do on a rainy Italian afternoon?

Why drink a macchiato of course!

The rain let up so we decided to settle our tab and check out the neighborhood.

 The Lithuanian Consulate

A beautiful building

 And another

 The Last Supper is through
those doors but we still had
about 15 more minutes of waiting

So we checked out the outside
of the Chiesa while we waited

Good looking ragazzo


They whet your artistic appetite
with teasers like this in one of the
waiting rooms used to dehumidify
the newest group of 30 visitors

That is the Apostle Peter on the left with the Apostle John, a.k.a., Mary Magdalene, at the Last Supper.

We entered the refectory which was the Dominican's dining hall back in the day.

On one end wall was this fresco of 
the Crucifixion by
Giovanni Donato Monitorano
dated 1495

This is part of the long side wall
connecting the Crucifixion
fresco with . . .

"One of you will betray me."
"Lord, is it I?"

Leonardo did extensive biblical research on the events of the the Last Supper before starting his work. He decided to capture the shock and emotions of all of those at table the moment that Jesus announced the betrayal.

Contrary to what I said in yesterday's post, Leonardo's Last Supper is definitely not a fresco. Frescoes, by definition, must be painted quickly while the plaster that is used on the wall is still fresh and wet.

Di Vinci started to paint the Last Supper in 1494 but did not finish until 1498. He was commissioned to do this work by Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan and the head of Milano's leading family, the Sforzas.

This Sforza gift to the Dominicans was essentially a bribe to the monks so that the Sforzas could place their family tomb in the chiesa.

Eventually the French drove the Sforzas out of Milan, so they were never buried in the chiesa and the monks got a masterpiece for free.

The painting started to noticeably deteriorate within six years after its completion and has been under constant repair ever since surviving humidity, pollution, dirt and even Milano's WWII bombing raids which destroyed part of one of the refectory's long side walls.

Part of the reason for the rapid onslaught of problems for this great work of art is the technique that Leonardo used. He painted on the wall in layers as he would on a canvas instead of applying pigments to wet plaster in the fresco technique. He felt he needed to work slowly in a non-fresco mode to fully express his vision for The Last Supper.

It was a really great Janson's History of Art moment for us.

Afterwards, we ducked into the Chiesa Santa Maria delle Grazie as Laurie had not been in it yet. 
Lots of colors as they set up
for a concert tomorrow night


 Laurie buying more candlepower

White is a color

The Choir behind the Main Altar

Choir woodwork

Cool ironwork too

Trying to keep up with
the Refectory

Vaulted ceilings are a must

As we walked back to the Cadorna train station for the ride home, we ran into . . .

. . . a WWII air raid bomb shelter sign

It was good to know its location in case the Swiss Army crosses the nearby border brandishing their ever popular knives.

Meanwhile, back at DII American football . . .

The Italian Federation really is doing a good job keeping their website up-to-date and informative . . . 

. . . for DII and DIII as well
as for DI

As you may recall, your Varese Skorpions are in the 24 club Division II this season.

Division II is divided up into six, four team leagues named Groups A-F. The Skorpions are in Group C.

Every club plays each of its Group opponents twice, home-and-home, plus two non-Group opponents once for a total of eight regular season contests.

The Skorpions have two byes and two road games in the final month of play.

With four more weekends left in the regular season, here are the current standings for each of the six DII Groups.

It's GREAT to be a Skorpion!

No comments: