How Artists Invented the Christian Jesus

If you looked at Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th century painting “The Last Supper” and didn’t know that it depicted a gathering of Jesus and his disciples for a Passover celebration, you would probably think it was a get-together of Christian monks. Not surprising, since that’s just what it looks like. Ross King, author of “Leonardo and the Last Supper,” notes that the painting was inspired by the communal meals of Dominican monks. In fact, the table and setting replicate the refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent in Milan, Italy, where the Dominican friars dined — and the mural was painted by da Vinci on the wall of that chamber.

2013-03-14-TheLastSupperbydaVinci.jpgAlthough historians tell us that the “last supper” was indeed a Passover Seder, nowhere on da Vinci’s table do we see the traditional Passover foods that have

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