Cosimo Rosselli 1439 – 1507

The last supper

fresco (349 × 570 cm) — 1481-1482 Museum Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

Cosimo Rosselli biography

This work is linked to Matthew 26:20

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A fresco on the northern wall of the Sistine Chapel. It is part of the series on the life of Jesus.

It appears that Jesus has just shared the bread and the wine. He tells his followers that he will soon die. The apostles seem shocked - unfortunately Rosselli didn't have a talent for depicting emotions.

One of the apostles is not surprised. Sitting with his back to the viewer, Judas has a bag over his shoulder. It holds the silver coins he got for betraying Jesus.

The three windows in the background show the events that are about to occur: the prayer on Mount of Olives, the betrayal, and the crucifixion. The windows with the betrayal and the crucifoxion were probably made by Rosselli's assistant Biagio d'Antonio Tucci.

Rosselli put some decanters in the foreground. He also placed the wine cup in a prominent position, in the center of the scene. He did so to emphasize the importance of the episode: by sharing the bread and the wine (his "blood") God through Jesus created a new covenant between him and mankind. A new testament.

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