Last Supper

Inne 01
Ⓒ Bogumil Hoder

– title: “Last Supper”;
– technique: oil on canvas;
– dimensions: 250 x 150 cm;
– year of painting: 2013.

Conception: painting a picture presenting the Biblical Last Supper, basing on the idea and researches of Krzysztof Romankiewicz, to the following characteristics:

– technique – oil on canvas;
– realistic scene as a piece of art (atmosphere, mystery, uniqueness of the historical while);
– fidelity to the gospels;
– historical scene, without any reference to the later development of the Christian religion;
– clearly shown nature of Jewish Passover feast – Seder (the participants are Jews, all the props, costumes, meals and whole room has to be very much similar to realities of Jerusalem and Judea in 30 A.D. and to Jewish culture);
– the figures of Jesus and the Apostles are painted on the base of their psychological portraits taken from all we know.

Painting description: both the initiator and the author found suitable amount of knowledge before beginning of the project. One important thing was to elaborate approximate appearance of the whole scene with its participants – Jesus and His Apostles. According to the culture and religion of Jewish, no element in the room could be decorated with the images of people or animals. The costumes are painted to look similar to those worn in the time of Jesus; there are seen the Jewish prayer shawls – taliths. There is compliance with the gospels of the New Testament and with the archeological researches. All parts of the Passover meal is made for the Seder feast (Jewish bread matzah, dense sauce with bitter herbs and fruits – charoset, wine, goat milk and cheese, lettuce, grapes). The feast takes place around the table and the participants recline on sofas, in accordance with the then Roman custom). The shown scene is the while, when Jesus tells, who is His traitor – according to this, He gives Judas a bread wrapped in lettuce and dipped in charoset sauce. The other Apostles show different subjective emotions – from being intrigued, through impulse reaction, to disinterest – because of misunderstanding or ignorance:

– Judas takes the bread from Jesus, who at the same while reveal the traitor;

– To the right from Jesus there is sitting 12 years old John – he is waking up or is perking of being a thoughtful. At the same time Peter sitting to the left from the Master is beating with thoughts after heard words and after, what Jesus told him, that he will deny Him three times that night;

– Afraid Andrew is turning back his hand from the plate with the matzah, similarly like Thomas, standing in the background;

– Mathew is freezing in the moment of reaching for the bread, and Philip is standing up and gesticulating he asks Jesus for explanation;

– Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot are in the far sides of the painting. The first is thinking in his scepticism and mistrust for Jesus. The second one is pilgrim devoted to the Master;

– James the son of Alpheus and James the son of Zebedee are talking. They seem not to notice whole the situation or start to feel something after the others reactions;

– Bartholomew is a type of patrician hasn’t noticed or hasn’t taken any difficult yet to understand the Jesus’ words. He still reaches his hand with matzah in it for the sauce;

– All the Apostles are young people. The oldest is Peter, probably being in the same age like Jesus. All of them are Jews, everyday they work hard. Peter, Andrew and Philip are brothers. Similarly are James the son of Zebedee and John. Matthew is former tax collector, who on the Last Supper is already convert.

Artistic idea: the scene composition focuses on Jesus and Judas. The Master is in one of the points of so called “golden ratio” of the painting, and the traitor is in the middle. The Supper is being done in the light of the oil lamps which are the main source of light in the dark room. The other light – the blue one – comes from the full moon from out of the window (the room is located on the highest level of the house). The purpose of this light is to sign the period of Passover and to emphasise the mystery of the scene. In the background, behind Thomas there opens a black abyss of the door, which symbolises the world of the clear Judaism, passed away by the participants of the Supper – Jesus and His Apostles. We can’t see the Christian world yet, for the scene is being done in a kind of “a dimension beyond the dimensions”. Infidelity and doubt of the Apostles are symbolised by Thomas standing on the background of the door. Below James the son of Alpheus and James the son of Zebedee there is seen a weak red light of the fireplace, on which there paschal lamb is being roasted. This light symbolises incoming changes and possibly announcement of Christianity. The weak green light shows the Apostles from the first plain, covered in the shadow – this light comes from the oil lamps flames lights reflected by the walls of the room. The atmosphere is heavy and betrays the advent of the new. The room inside the Nicodemus’ house is ancient, probably as one of few in Jerusalem it endured the war. The decorations on the walls of hewn stones are simple, according to the Judaist tradition. The Passover table is set of a couple of smaller ones, which look was taken from those found on the terrain of Jerusalem – the stone tables at one leg. The vessels are earthen with the exceptions: one is a bronze pitcher, and the second – the most important – the ritual chalice, known later as the Holy Grail. This chalice is made from stone – possibly from agate Italian.

Making of the painting

The initiator of the idea and the author of the “Last Supper” album: Krzysztof Romankiewicz.

Spring-Winter 2013.

The preparations to take such a difficult and complex topic took a couple of months. After gathering the proper information about most of the aspects, the artist painter Bogumił Hoder started to realise the project. He had to find the models, from who every one played another participant of the Last Supper. The models were chosen on the base of the psychological portraits of Jesus and His Apostles. Each one from the persons was characterised and wore one of the costumes, specially made for this occasion. After the sketches showing whole the composition and set of the participants, after taking the pictures of the actors, the artist started to make the sketch of the contours on the canvas.

© Bogumił Hoder
















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