posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 02:35 PM
Hey Big Dan:
If you look at Pinin Brambilla's reconstruction (IL CENACOLO = THE LAST SUPPER of Leonardo da Vinci) at the Monasteria di Santa Maria delle Grazie
di Milano 1977-1997) of the disciple "Phillip's" face (the one standing as the tallest figure on the wall with a similar hand gesture as the "Lady
with the Ermine" painting of 1491) you'll notice that he has no BEARD either...
Are you claiming that the disciple PHILLIP was painted by Leonardo as a woman too?
The disciple Phillip had 4 daughters---all of them "prophetesses" according to the legends of the early Nazorean Christians ...but of course,
Leonardo himself probably didn't know or care about "historical accuracy" of first century Palestine----his point was to bring out drama and the
hidden non termporal meaning of the Eucharist as an ETERNAL EVENT OF SALVATION rather than a moment in real-time (notice the symbolic hand gestures of
R. Yehoshua pointing to the BREAD (leavened !!!) and the other to the WINE.
The face of "Yohanon bar Zavdai" (John son of Zebedee) i.e. one of the Bene Regesh ("sons of Thunder" Gk malapropism: Boanerges) is nearly
completely flaked off via more than 13 paint overs in oil by lesser artitsts than Leonardo every 50 years since 1498 up to about 1922.
The work in 1952 began what Brambilla finished in removing layer by layer of overpainting (Leonardo's fault for using a dry wall with mixed pigments
and clay to paint a fresco===which was known NOT to be a permament methodology, despite his hopes and months of experiments...!)
So both PHILLIP and JOHN are beardless in Il Cenacolo. If you want to see a nearly-lifesize copy done under the auspices of Leonardo himself
apparently, check out the oil copy near Antwerp (the Tongerlo copy) which reproduces most of the lost details of the original in the folds of the
clothes===some art experts date this copy to around 1510, and there is some evidence that Leonardo himself may have touched up some of the draperies
of those gorgeous (although historically inaccurate !) coats and robes he puts on the disciples---in the original their faces are 32 cm which would
mean that ach of the disciples depicted and R. Yehoshua himself is approx 1.5 times normal life size.
It is said that Leonardo even caluclated EACH DISCIPLE's BODY WEIGHT as he worked on the figures...!
By the way, notice the line between the tallest Figure (Philip) and the lowest (Judas): it goes STRAIGHT THROUGH the right EYE of R. Yehoshua in the
Also the curious grouping of 4 sets of three, and the "hand up hand down" symbolism of R. Yehoshua (which was used by Buddhist statues and statues
of Mithras--symbolising death and resurrection as well as SUN UP and SUN DOWN among other things).
Notice Judas' neck (in the preparatory sketches) shows the tension of a man who is being hung (i.e. in the ACT of being HUNG BY THE NECK)
Leonardo placed alot of NON LITERAL-TEMPOROAL SYMBOLS into this fresco which defy an actual physical moment in time: The left hand of Yeshoshua(
appearing on the right side to the viewer) looks like it could have represented a crucified wrist by its position as well.
Curious (a Leonardo oversight, or is he telling us this IS NOT A PASSOVER MEAL?) is the presence of LEAVENED BREAD on the table (during the Feast of
UNLEAVENED bread) and the fact that IESOUS and the 12 ARE NOT RECLINING in GREEK FASHION the way the Gospels describe the Pesach event (it became the
common Judaean customer to position all guests at a Passover-Pesach by placing them on the floor so they could recline just like the Greek
"conquerors" after 300 BC)....
Some have criticised the light in the background (it is actually the very moment the orb of the sun has dipped below the Judaen horizon) since it
looks like day and not night when the Passover was eaten--and it appears that the group has just finished their meal, not just starting it....
The main light source is of course from the western wall window (the left side of the fresco is thus subtily lit differently than the right side).
As for Leonardo painting Yohanon bar Zavdai as a female-woman, I would have to disagree:
Most of Leonardo's younger men/angels are painted as if they were ANDROGYNOUS (look at the clearly androgynous right-hand "pointing" Angel in the
earlier "Paris Version" of the Virgin and Child with John the Baptist in a Gortto in the Louvre) like the later portrait of John the Baptist and
many other males (his younger MALE models were mainly "girlie-boy" homosexuals like Jacopo Saltarelli, with whom he was accused of SODOGMIA on April
9th 1476 (and for which anonymous accusation placed into the TAMBURO DRUM of the FLORENTINE Palazzio Vecchio's Front Hall caused him to be in
gaol/imprisoned for 60 days before being released for "lack of witnesses" !!)
Even Phillip's face in the Last Supper (which had been touched up by Da Vinci himself in 1499 in oil, and beautifully restored by Pinin Brambilla) is
somewhat androgynous (without the beard makes it even more so).
Notice the space forming a giant V next to the socalled beloved (!) disciple "John" ALSO forms another V next to the right side of Phillip facing
the viewer by Matthew's (or Levi's?) swinging arms facing away from the center....so the two beardless boys in the fresco both have giant V spaces
next to them---which some have pointed out may mean "Vagina" the symbol of the Goddess....
But I would have to disagree...even though Leonardo clearly was "heretical" (not only for his sexual inclination towards Sodogmia and pretty boys
etc.) but also in his notebooks which were clearly written in mirror writing to thrwart the snoopy eyes of the Inquisition...
Yet to say (as the da Vinci code seems to) that he had a belief in the Divine Feminine with the Magadelleh (Aram. "hairdreser") included in the
fresco, I think would be stretching the evidence way too far...although one thing to Brown's credit is that he sold a lot of books and got common
people (non artists) interested in da Vinci again in the US....!!
[also where is the non pointing finger of THOMAS (Yehudah bar Yosef haTomah, or Judas Thomas-Didymos the Twin)? answer" its on the table scrunched up
on thet able surface (a few fingers can be seen) next to the flaying arms of Yakkov bar Zavdai, who is missing all the beautiful drapery details of
his once-gorgeous green silk coat)...
And what is THEUDAS (Thaddeus or Yehudah ha Levi) doing (second to last figure from left to right) with his "lame" fingers laying on the table
surface? He is dipping his thumb to each of his fingers, apparently, discounting each disciple in turn "no not him, not him, not him, not him..."
These are the fun things about going to Milano in person and seeing all of this detail close up (and arguing with all those stubborn Italian curators,
[edit on 24-10-2004 by Amadeus]