This is my version of Jesus Christ’s Last Supper. I have based it entirely on historical facts and the Bible. Hence it is, I believe, an accurate representation of the Last Supper as to how it may have actually taken place based on the research of the Jewish cultures and the time period of Jesus Christ. The disciples and the master are seated in a U-shaped table called the ‘Triclinium'(Jewish traditional table for celebrating the Passover). The seating positions are based on the Bible. The dresses, tablecloths, utensils, flooring, wall texture and most importantly the food that they have on the table are based on historical facts and Jewish customs.
The artwork itself is made on paper 280 cm x 150 cm with ink and graphite. It took me over 4 months to create.
The triclinimum is a low table with cushions to sit on, so the sitter has to lean on the table in a resting position to have the meal. The triclinium has a head and a tail, so the most important people(Master of the house) in the house sit at the head and the people with the lowest social status sit at the tail of the table. So there is an ascending order of social status being created from the head to the tail of the table. Hence, Jesus sits at the head of the table and to his right sits John (because he is the closest to Jesus, probably because they are almost of similar ages) and to Jesus’s left sits Judas Iscariot(because he is an important person in the group of disciples, most learned and treasurer of the group, he has been crucial in setting up the supper, so Jesus allows him to sit at the head of the table). Peter sits at the tail of the table (because he keeps the word of Jesus in mind “whoever would be great among you must be your servant”). Jesus also might have given Judas the position to sit next to Him because in the Bible it shows that the disciples always argue among themselves as to who among them is the greatest and so since Judas has done most of the important work in getting the supper organized and also because Jesus knows that he will betray Him. Jesus said “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
As you can see Peter has the knife which he the later uses to chop of the soldier’s ear. Judas has the money bag containing the silver coins. And as to portray the intense situation, Judas is the only one making eye contact with the viewer of the artwork, everybody else eyes are looking among themselves. I have done this to let the viewer ponder on and ask themselves “What would I have done? /What have I done in my past?”. A point of self-reflection to evaluate ourselves.
Coming to other details, the food on the table is the traditional Jewish food for celebrating the Passover called the “Seder” consisting of wine, matzah (flat,dry bread), vegetables dipped in salt water, bitter herbs dipped in charoset (a paste of apples, pears, nuts and wine), boiled eggs and lamb. The table cloth and the clothing of the disciples have the stripes because was the traditional Jewish design of the age. On the left of the picture you can see where the feet washing took place. The windows show the scenery of the mountainous Jerusalem with cypress and olive trees. The chandelier hanging on top has 33 lamps to signify the years of Jesus on earth.
The entire drawing is drawn using a one point perspective. Jesus is placed at the centre of the art piece, the whole artwork has been developed around Him giving prime importance.