The Last Supper by Veronese at the Gallerie dell'AccademiaHistorical Curiosities
The Last Supper by Veronese at the Gallerie dell'Accademia
The twelve rooms of the Gallerie dell'Accademia host many works of art from the Veneto Region and the city of Venice made by renowned artists including Tintoretto, Tiziano, Canaletto, Giovanni Bellini and Veronese.
As you enter hall number ten, a huge canvas - 5.55 meters high and 12.80 meters wide - will capture your attention: it is the canvas painting by Paolo Veronese, 'Feast in the House of Levy', dating from 1573.
The painting was created as a representation of the Gospel episode of the Last Supper and was completed for the Basilica of Saints John and Paul in Venice. However, if we carefully examine the details of the work, we will notice the presence of dozens of bizarre and sometimes ironic ‘figures’: acrobats, buffoons, drunken people, dwarves and even a slave with a nosebleed (epistaxis)!
How could the Catholic Church accept such a blasphemous and ‘disorderly’ representation for one of the most sacred episodes in the life of Christ? In fact, the dreaded Inquisition criticized the work and summoned its author before the court.
At the end of the trial, Veronese found himself forced to transform the sacred theme of the Last Supper into a convivial scene characterized by a lavish and vivacious banquet. He also changed the title of the canvas from 'The Last Supper' to 'The Feast in the House of Levi' ... But who was Levi?
Levi was the tax collector who threw a dinner party to celebrate Christ's call. The ostentatious and sumptuous setting is therefore in line with the new name of the work: the scene is set inside a 16th century Palladian-style building where the Venice of the past transpires through the elegant architecture, the rich costumes of the attendees and the victuals.
The visitor who is observing the canvas has the impression of admiring a large stage where the actors, or the guests, seem to direct their gaze at the central point of the scene occupied by the luminous figure of Jesus Christ. Next to him, sitting around the table are the Apostles and a multitude of other characters of different social backgrounds who, for the first time in sacred painting, find themselves attending one of the most significant moments in the life of Jesus, The Last Supper.
Do not miss the chance to admire up close the details of this unruly piece of artwork! On our portal you can buy the admission ticket to visit the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice and the wonderful masterpieces housed inside.
Venice: Fave dei Morti: the Venetian cookies of All Souls Day
As tradition dictates, every year, on the day when the deceased are commemorated (November 2), in Venice it is customary to prepare ‘...View
Venice: The red lights of St Mark’s Basilica in memory of the poor ‘fornareto’
Mysteries & Legends
If you find yourself wandering around St Mark’s Basilica in the evening, take a look at its southern façade ... you will notice two ...View
Padua: Bartolomeo Cristofori: the Padua-born man who invented the piano
Did you know that...
Did you know that the inventor of the piano hailed from Padua? That’s true and his name was Bartolomeo Cristofori. Bartolomeo Cristof...View
Treviso: Why is Prosecco wine called precisely Prosecco?
Did you know that...
On 7 July 2019, Veneto and the whole of Italy toasted to the Prosecco Hills, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The World Heritage Commi...View
Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave
Did you know that...
Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...View
Padua: Why do people say ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela?’
Have you ever wondered where the popular expression ‘Rimanere in mutande’ o ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela’ comes from? It is a wa...View
Venice: The Last Supper by Veronese at the Gallerie dell'Accademia
The twelve rooms of the Gallerie dell'Accademia host many works of art from the Veneto Region and the city of Venice made by renowned a...View