The Last Supper
Pencil and Pen on Paper
155 x 370cm
The Last Supper was a work Hermann Nitsch originally conceived and mounted at the French Cultural Centre in Milan. Based on Leonardo da Vinci’s famous fresco (housed in the same city), Hermann Nitsch’s performative response was finalised as an installation consisting of a table, surrounded by twelve pictures, and a large canvas symbolic of Christ.
In this drawing, Hermann Nitsch works through his conception of the Christian story of betrayal, repentance, and forgiveness. Depicting each figure as an anatomical diagram, he plays on the concept of the Eucharist: spiritual cleansing through the eating of blood and flesh.
The Christ figure in the centre is rendered in red as an emanating energy force; neither good nor evil, his face is a skull-like mask bearing the inane mischievous grin of a Mona Lisa smile.