Around the description of the Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci, was born in me desire to repropose this sacred event. I do not have intentional to interpret a evangelic episode acclimatizing it in a tangible world, but I have intentional to crystallize a spiritual event that exceeded space and time. In order to cover spiritual roads it is necessary to travel fortifying itself of symbols. It can be tried to express a truth not tied to our material condition, using of symbolic images. These images in their sensitive rappresentazione, represent a language constituted from analogies and allegories, being able to speak thus about a world that otherwise could not be to us known. This world is the mythical world, or the world of the collective unconscious , and however that one of an atavic memory that is within us. Thus my attempt of wanting is born to contract in a field limited to a single event, an advanced embrace that invests multiple events.

THE SUPPER

The supper represents the assembly of the people of God, where the twelve tribes of Israel are replaced of the twelve Apostles. The scene mother therefore, is not the betrayal of Giuda, like painted Leonardo, but the institution of the Eucarestia: “ do this in memory of me ” (Lc. 22,19) – thus I have written in the painting to the center under the Christ. That is consumed is the bread and the wine fruit of the job and sweat of the man, body and blood of Christ: who nutre of they obtains immortality. But this ritual is not new in the history of the humanity. The bread and the wine already were considered sacred alimony to the God Mitra in order to obtain the divine life, and similar rituals came practiced near other people in order to celebrate pagan gods. Still today the custom is diffused to cook little figures of paste with human sembianze; this remembers the cults in which it came ideally consumed the body of the divinity in form of bread.

THE BLOOD

The blood (wine) separated from the body (bread) indicates the sacrifice of Christ. To redimeem the humanity, the Son of God pours own blood that is the center of the life. The blood in the painting is the cape of the Christ; it like a river lick every Apostle purifying it. As it cleanses every Apostle, the blood cleanses all the humanity.

THE COMPOSITION

Following the philosophical idea of Pitagora and the Pythagoreans, in which the numbers constitute the key of access for the understanding the harmonic laws of the universe, the composition of the painting is articulated from a rhythm of the number three and four. The mathematical perception of the world begins from the observation of the celestial cycles and from the rhythms of alternation of the vital earthly existence. The numbers are the language of measurement of the cosmic order, and therefore manifestation of the divinity. With this vision the numbers are not alone instruments useful to the man in order to measure and to decipher the space, but they reenter between the symbols of the absolute.

ONE original from which every thing has moved, is God.

The space of the painting in the Last Supper, leaves from the center: Creator God is the center, Father, Son and Saint Spirit are represented by the three yellow circles. The Two is the duality of the existence: the Ying and the Yang. In the painting on the right the silver and on the left the gold. The Yang is the positive male force relative to all active, solar, shiny, dry and hard things. The Ying is the negative feminine principle , inherent to the passive, buie, humid, soft things. The duality expresses also the two bronze columns of the temple of king Salomone: Jakin (God support) and Boaz (in Him is the Force). Regarding the disposition of the Apostles, I have copied Leonardo, separating the Saints in four groups. Eevery group has a season ackground, moving from right to left we have: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.

Four are also the Evangelisti: At Luca corresponds the Taurus , sacrificial animal ; Giovanni who has the Aquila like symbol; Matteo represented from a winged Man (the angel); Mark to which the Lion places side by side itself. Now these figures that serve from symbol speak us also about four parts of a anthropomorhic creature who recalls ancient topics. The four images remember us the four constellations that indicate the spring and autumn equinoxes (Toro and Aquila, that it replaces the Scorpion seen as negative animal – the constellation of the Aquila finds over that of the Scorpion) and the solstices of summer and winter (Lion and Aquarius). Naturally these constellations do not more coincide because of the movement of the terrestrial axis and the precession of the equinoxes (“phenomenon for which the equinoctial points they describe the ecliptic in approximately 26.000 years.” - from the Zingarelli dictionary)

Bring back to number four are the Elements, represented here on the feet of the Apostles: Water, Air, Earth and Fire. Thus I have painted the four elements: the Water is contained in the Goblets; the Air is represented by the Swords; the Earth is the material that recalls the Money (thirty money are designed and they are under Giuda); at last the Fire that burns the Sticks. They are the four suite of cards. Like in Leonardo, the Apostles are disposed in four groups of three for a total of twelve. Number twelve is the base of the sessagesimale system studied by the Sumeri. It indicates the penetration of the spirit in the matter. In the Apocalypse of Giovanni, the book that narrates the history of the reign of God, the twelve is found again in stars around the head of the sun dressed Woman (12.1). I remember the twelve stones on rations of adds Hebrew clergyman that symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel. Twelve are the months, the entire year, and the zodiac signs.

3 x 4 = 12; 3+4 = 7. The seven is an other number that is covered of sacred and mythical meanings. We read now what Marsilio Ficino (philosopher of the Rinascimento) tells concerning number seven: “ and thus the spirit, dipped in the composed body, would come constantly from this dispersed and upsotten, for that it appears coherent to represent it in a triangle. But at this triangle they (the Pythagoreans) assign seven numerical limits evidently suggested from the fact that we can state that the generation of the things is governed from the number of planets, that they are exactly seven, and that the last one of they, that is Saturno, produces in the life of the men its changes every seven years; and thus also the Moon, very small of planets, produces same changes in itself and in the umorali liquids every seven days. Therefore it does not seem to have said an absurdity when they described on the base of the number seven the spirit, the origin of the movement and the generation. There is quite that it thinks that number seven even presides to the formation of the fetus in the maternal uterus, let alone the developments of the life of the man after the birth. ” (Theologiae Platonicae de immortalitate animorum, Marsilio Ficino Author: Books XVIII by Michele Schiavone and Zanichelli Bologna).

I have represented up seven planets under the sembianze of seven angels who are also the seven divinity of Olympus.

He will ask himself because symbols hide other symbols. Lived in XIV the century one philosopher famous in its times, now nearly completely forgotten, whose name is Giulio Camillo Delminio. This personage realized a theater of the memory “ the Theatro of the world ”, where they are contained ideas and concepts regarding the symbolism, a lot interesting to which I refer in the painting.

The symbols are hidden from other symbols because “… .belong to the divine things to the over blue world, and being that separating from we from the mass of all skies, and the ours language not being able to reach the expression of that one if (I will say so) for signals and similes, so that for means of the visible things we ascend to the invisible …. And we use the images in the ours things , like means of those things, than they do not have to be desecrate. ”

Regarding to the number seven Delminio still says: “ Salomone to ninth of the' proverbs says the wisdom has built up the house, and has founded it on seven columns. These columns meaning stablest eternity we have to mean that they are the seven sephiroth of the over blue world, that they are the seven measures of the factory of the celestial one and the inferior, in which are comprised the Ideas of all belonging things to the celestial one and the inferior . Outside from this number we can't imagine nothing. This settenario is perfect number, because contains one and the other sex, in order to be made of par and odd number, perfectly make happy waves wanting to say Virgilio said: serque quaterque. (“ the Idea of the Theatro ” of Giulio Camillo Delminio by Ugo Marchetti and Severgnini).

THE APOSTLES

Every Apostle represents a month in relation to the season in background. To every month a zodiacale sign corresponds. The first group of Apostles beginning from our right is constituted :

  1. Simone, which identifies the first month of the year (year that begins with the Spring), that is April and represents therefore the zodiacale sign of the Aries;
  2. Giuda Taddeo, with which the month of May under the sign of the Taurus is placed;
  3. Matteo in the month of June with the sign of the Gemini.

Knowing that the Aries is a sign of Fire, the Taurus of Earth and the Gemini of Air, in order to complete the four and to restore the equilibrium of the four elements the Water lacks, that I have represented to the feet of the three Saints: the Water is contained in the Goblets

I have tried in my interpretation to assign to every Apostle the position of the body and the color of the tunic more relating to the represented zodiacale sign.

The second group counts:

  1. Filippo – July – Cancer. The image painted by me, wanting to represent the Moon, that remarkablly influences the cancer sign, I have arranged Filippo with the arms conserte on the chest (as it has executed Leonardo), because like the little luminal shine of the sunlight, thus Filippo attracts himself the words of the Christ. Moreover Leonardo arranged the level of the head of this advanced Apostle to the line of the heads of all the others, this because as a antenna Filippo picks up the spiritual energies. It will be noticed like Leonardo, me also prefer for Filippo a feminine face, because the Moon represents the Ying part of which I have written over.
  2. Giacomo the Minor – August – Lion. The Lion is the regale symbol and of the Sun. As the Sun emanates own beams of light and own heat, thus Giacomo the Minor with the arms open manifest physically the idea to lavish heat (in this position I have represented it imitating the painting of Leonardo).
  3. Tommaso – September – Virgin. The position of Tommaso in the Last Supper of Leonardo is likeable, for that finger that appear near the nose following the saying to it “ S. Tommaso that does not believe to us if the nose does not put us ” …. In this case the finger. Being the borns under the sign of the Vergine (according what the astrologers say….), pedantic and attacked to the small things, I find this allegoria of the finger perfectly guessed. The hand of S. Tommaso wants to ascertain physically of a spiritual truth that the intellect cannot contain.

Filippo – Cancer – sign of Water, Giacomo the Minor – Lion – sign of Fire, Tommaso – Virgin – sign of Earth, lacks the Air in order to restore the equilibrium of the four elements; the Air is represented to the feet of the Apostles, from the swords that sharp and fast cut the air with an hiss.

The air has its Voice, without it we could not hear nothing.

The third group is composed:

  1. Giovanni – October – Balance. He indicates Giuda as who will betray the Master, from which Giovanni is the most loved. The visage and the attitude of this Apostle are much feminine one (like in the painting of Leonardo), in fact the sign of the Balance, being also the only object represented graphically, identifies the feminine part of the zodiaco is found in opposite position to the sign of the Aries (male and impetuous sign).
  2. Giuda – November – Scorpion. This Apostle, obviously is not likeable to nobody for the very bad role that it has chosen to interpret, and naturally who has been born under the sign of the Scorpion, if he knew of being represented from this unfortunate Apostle would have itself some badly. Traitor and suicide, Giuda was replaced from S. Mattia in order to re-establish number twelve. But we return to Scorpion and because is associated to Giuda. The scorpions, is know, are considered dangerous animals above all from the inhabitants of the southern countries where these bugs are poisonous. According to some studies the constellation of the Scorpion can be identified with the Dragon of Apocalypse of Giovanni . In fact ancient Babylonian astronomy, still ignoring the constellation of the Balance, that it came to define the seven heads and the ten horns of Dragon, saw the constellation of the Scorpion to throw on the constellation of the Virgin (the dressed sun woman) – sees Apocalypse of Giovanni. Seen the aversion for this zodiacal sign, then just to approach it to Giuda.
  3. Peter – December – Sagittarius. In the Last Supper of Leonardo, while Giuda is positioned with the head to an inferior level of all the other heads, ashamedly withdrawing himself, Peter surpasses it with impetus and energy; it is the Saggitario that shoot the arrow towards the future. In my painting, Peter surpasses Giuda with the hand, imitating the shooting with the arc; to Peter is the task to spend the maximum of own energies in order to erect the future Church.

John – Libra – sign of Air, Giuda – Scorpion – sign of Water, Peter – Sagittarius – sign of Fire, lacks the Earth in order to re-establish the equilibrium; he is represented to the feet of the Apostles with the thirty silver Money.

The last group is composed:

  1. Andrea – January – Capricorn – sign of Earth, very rested to the pavement;
  2. James the Mayor – February – Aquarius – sign of Air, he flies;
  3. Bartolomeo – March – Fish – sign of Water, he swims;

In order to re-establish the balance between the four elements the Fire is painted while it burns the Sticks.

The Apostles are here all the humanity that manifest in appearing and disappearing, that is in to be born and in to die under the influence of the different zodiacal signs. Represented the flow incessant of the Time that seems inexorably devoured everything, but in truth the year is closed for beginning again, and so forever in an eternity return. The Christ is to the center of the Time, represented here apex of a triangle realized from the line of the heads of the Saints. Its eyes are two circles with in the center a point, symbol of the Sun and the navel of the world. As the navel is the barycentre of the body, thus the Christ is the barycentre for the equilibrium of the Cosmos.

The symbol of the sun is a circle with an evidenced center; the right eye of the Christ is the center of the yellow circle.

THE ANGELS

The Angels, in the painting, represent seven planets, that they characterize symbolically the seven columns of the tempio of king Salomone.

“ All people that they have been interested to the symbolism of the celestial bodies have attributed great importance to planets, assigning they a sacred function …. the position from them occupied at the moment of the birth of every man give the formulation of the horoscope. ” (Encyclopedia of the Symbols – Garzanti)

The symbolic importance of number seven of planets is known from the renaissance Philosophy. Number that corresponds also to the days of the week. Thus It is passed, in the painting, from the four seasons, to the twelve months, to the seven days of the week.

I have followed the dispositions of seven planets given from Camillo Delminio in its book: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. Always starting from right:

  1. MOON – is the Angel Gabriel (“ nunzio ”), that announces to the Vergine next maternity. She is Artemis protecting of the virginity, the babies and carrier of fertility. Here it is associated to the idea of the Ying, where the humid things are comprised, passive and nocturnal. The color of the moon is the white, own of the purity.
  2. MERCURY – is the Angel Michael that I have represented in combat with the dragon. It is Ermes, messenger of gods, son of Zeus and Maia daughter of Atlas; here Ermete dissuades us from lunar world in order to carry us in the world of the human relationships: God of the form and the language guides the spirits in beyond. Memory its relation with Anubi, egyptian divinity, represented with the ears of gold (the ears are of gold because they have listened the Truth). Also Mercury knows the Truth, since has heard the words of the secret formulated from Apollo. I explain the analogy between Michael and Ermes. Michael fights against the dragon in the Apocalypse of Giovanni, Ermes fights the maleficent merchant, or in order better to say view the commercial relationships, the pacts and the contracts. In the picture the maleficent merchant is Giuda that makes of Jesus a merchandise object in order to obtain those thirty money, that to he does not interest at all. From how much already analyzed, we know that Giuda is under the sign of the Scorpion, than anciently gave the image in the sky to the famous dragon waiting for divorare the son give birth from the dressed Sun woman. The dressed sun woman is the constellation of the Virgin, than between september and October, effectively accommodates the sun . The vision narrated from Giovanni describes to the combat between the Michael Archangel and the dragon, representing the two antagonists the constellations of Orione the former and the scorpion the latter. These two constellations are never found at the same time to the horizon, but when one appears other to disappear, thus they seem in conflict. Mercury color is the ruby.
  3. VENERE – is the Sealtiele Angel (“ the orator ”, was he that interspose, because Abramo immolated a capro to the place of his child Isacco). I have entrusted to Sealtiele the part of the angel who announces to the shepherds the birth of Christ, associating some the word Son, thus passing from the Old one to the New Testament. Being in the planet of Venere in fact they preside the nativity and what regards the profitable and beneficial action of the sexuality. The divinity is Aphrodite, goddess of the love and the fertility, whose color is green, because the Love is perennial as the grass. The most important demonstration of love could be given to own God that the Isacco, knowing to renounce to its meat and its blood.
  4. SUN – the Raffaele Angel (“ doctor ” the healer of the Tobit blind person and loyal companion of travel of the Tobia's son). It wears a cape and it holds in hand the Pisside containing the Body of Christ. The Sun associated pagan divinity is Apollo; son of Zeus and Leto, is the God of the divination and the prophecy, the arts and he was also archer. He was the patron of the medicine, (and here the analogy with Raffaele that recovers) and the protector of the shepherds. Apollo is posizioned over the Christ. Memory that in the first times of the Christianity the artists in order to represent the Jesus, reaching to the hellenistic art, did not realize an image that is corresponds to the bearded ace with the long hats, to which we are accustomed today, but to a young person much similar one to Apollo like Kriophoros with a capro on the shoulders. (you see the Sarcofago di Giunio Low that Peter finds itself to Rome in Cripta di S. and the Sarcofago of the Good Shepherds, of the catacombe of Pretestato in the Laterano Museum to Rome).
  5. MARS – is the Uriele Angel, (“ hard allied ”), with fire sword and flames, are of guard to the door of the Paradise. It is that he drives away Adam and Eva from the Paradise putting into effect the punishment given from God. Through this image the force, the violence is represented, that they are despised from the symbolic world, because they belong to the material world. The divinity that is connected to the Greek myth is Ares, God of the war, violent fort and, for this lacking one in the humility and justice sense. And also the protecting God of the puttinges, is the force rapes of the warmth, the energy that ago to sprout the seed, that it cracks the earth in order to grow. Mars is enemy of the Moon because it does not make to act. The arm that extends the force of the muscle, in this case is the fire sword, appealled with the tip turned towards the low, because the violence always does not gain and torchs against if same. The Mars color is the red blood.
  6. GIOVE – is the Angel that weighs the souls: the iconography is entrusted from the Christian tradition of the angel Michele (Barachiele – “auxiliary”), but the psicostasia it belongs to the rituali of the ancient Egyptians. If your spirit will be light as a plume, you will be able to enter in the reign of the afterlife. The balance represents the equilibrium, the sobriety, the justice and the rigor of the law to which the figure of Zeus is referred, father of gods, organizing the human thought, and controlling the laws. The thoughts of Giove are the laws of the universe. It places a brake to the primary impulse establishing the order and the discipline; the need of the rule is when the sense of the acquaintance has gotten lost. The color is the blue that is the color of the spirit.
  7. SATURNO – is the Iehudiele angel (“ remunerator ”): prize and punishment. I have represented this angel with the stimmate while with the hands he counts number seven. I don't know if Iehudiele has never been painted with the stimmate, that I have designed in order to remember the passion and because I have already seen this medieval iconography. In order to live it is necessary to accept the death. Now under the planet of Saturno we cannot not speak about death being this planet far away a lot from the Sun, and therefore is found in the shadow; not by chance its color is viola complementary of the yellow. Saturno is Crono for the Greeks, son of Uranio and Gea. Crono cut the genitals of Uranio's father and governed at its place still crueler and despotic of the parent. Then having known that one of its sons would have rendered in future the same service to it, it thought well to devour future childs to avoid a disagreeable eviration. In the symbolic world these meal of Crono based on its sons lead back to the idea of the static of the time; Crono regenerates devouring the babies, seed of its seed, energy of its energy: the time is not passing because it does not see the sons grow. The wife of “ the monster ”, Culprit, his sister, gave birth: Estia, Demetra, Era, Ade, Poseidone and Zeus. Crono ate all them, except Zeus, that it was replaced from Rea with a stone. Therefore Crono tasted the stone convinced was the son; this last one, once grown, castrated the father. Crono, then, vomited all the sons with the stone that was flung to Delfi, umbilicus of the world. I remeber that the Crono's name is derives from the word chronos that is the time. Crono had destroyed own creations, like the time, than it makes us to appear then to disappear.

I finish with the angels my description, reporting a thought of Herbert Kuhn:

“ Because every earthly representation, every search, every anxiety and thought and feeling and experience and surveying and attempt, are always and only a search of the eternity, of the only reason for which all alive ” (Herpert Kuhn – the European art from the prehistory to the Middle Ages – And Aldo Hammer).

Bibliography:

Cristo
apostoli
apoatoli
apostoli
apostoli
angeli
Venere
Mercurio
Luna
angeli
angelo
Saturno
Giove
Marte
Apollo