Leo Steinberg Interpretation of Leonardo Last Supper Paper


Question Description

1. Explain Leo Steinberg’s interpretation of Leonardo’s Last Supper (discuss in detail at least four different instances in which he uses visual evidence to support his interpretation).

2. Explain how Leonardo used female portraiture to address the Paragone debate (discuss at least three different portraits by Leonardo in your essay).

3. Discuss how and why the two presentation drawings sent to Tommaso de’Cavalieri, The Rape of Ganymede, The Punishment of Titus exemplified Michelangelo’s sense that he was “split in two halves?”

4.Explain why the male nude was such a complex vehicle of expression for Michelangelo (discuss at least three examples of Michelangelo’s work in which the male nude figures prominently in your essay).

I want to get an written response of the question that I posted, reading will be post for the first question. The answer should not be long, the time limit for each question will be 40 minutes. I had posted 4 questions, but only question 1 and one other question (2 or 3 or 4) needed to be answer. If possible please provide a outline and notes for the response. No specific reference or bibliography needed for the writing.

Question needed to be delivered on time for my deadline. Many Thanks.

Tutor Answer

School: UIUC




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Question 1
Leo Steinberg's primary concern is the consistent oversimplification of Leonardo’s mural.
Leo, believes that the painting has many hidden meanings. Leo thinks that the painting does not
serve purpose but instead covers a longer duration. His work has involved intensive use of visual
evidence so as to pass the required message to the audience. The first visual evidence is the
painting that shows Jesus having a meal surrounded by his twelve disciples, as it is Biblically.
According to Leo the painting does not only serve as the announcement of Jesus impending
betrayal but also gives more information regarding the Eucharist.
Leo therefore says “As the person of Christ unites man and God, so his right hand
summons the agent of his human death even as it offers the means of salvation. The Christ figure
as agent—both hands actively molding his speech, and both directed at bread and wine…Christ
becomes the capstone of a great central pyramid…And midway between the…slopes of Christ
arms and the floor lines that transmit their momentum, exactly halfway, there lies the bread, and
there lies the wine”.
The painting also depicts animated disciples and their housing, which is determined by their
perspectives. Leo further argues that Leonardo’s painting is in line with the laws of geometry,
and Jesus as the prime mover of the conversation.
“I think we see—or would have seen had the mural survived intact—a willed visual
metaphor. Within the geometry of the picture, the elements of the Eucharist, placed in extension
of Christ’s earthly presence, serve as conveyors: from the centrality of the Incarnate toward the
faithful this side of the picture.”



From the painting we can, therefore, ...

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