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Salvador Dali The Sacrament of the Last Supper, c.1955




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Twelve pentagons and twelve apostles, as Dalí said: “…communion must be symmetric.” "The Sacrament of the Last Supper" was painted using oil on canvas, in 1955. An art collector called Chester Dale commissioned the painting . Whilst he was enormously pleased with the painting, some crictics viewed it as a mediocre rendering of a much-used subject. The subject is Christ's Last Supper, which has been painted by many artists over the centuries. Amongst these renditions is a version by one of Dali's favorite artists, Leonardo da Vinci. Like the Leonardo version, Dali's "The Sacrament of the Last Supper" shows Christ sitting centrally at a table with the disciples around him and in the background, windows look on to a landscape, in Dali's case it is that of a bay near his home of Port Lligat. The figure of Christ is transparent, and above him the arms and chest of a man appear in the sky, suggesting that he is already ascending to heaven. An aspect of the painting that caused controversy was the fact that Christ was given Gala's features. Dali had already portrayed Gala as the Madonna in several earlier paintings, and in 1958 he was to show the image of Gala looking down on Christ as he ascends to Heaven, in the painting "The Ascension of Christ."

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