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Monday, May 01, 2006

The Da Vinci Code 

I have heard and read so much about this book and movie that I'm beginning to think maybe I should understand the issues a little better. In doing so, I stumbled across an interesting tidbit that I thought I would share.

One of the common misconceptions about Da Vinci is that his famous painting "The Last Supper" (which figures prominently in the conspiracy theories) was a fresco (a wall painting technique in which the pigments are applied to a damp wall, so that as it dries it becomes a permanent part of the surface). In reality, the church that commissioned him to complete the mural was quite frustrated with the artist because he was experimenting with a technique of using pigments suspended in an egg-based vehicle, can be applied to dry plaster, and can be easily painted over, thus extending the project over four years. In addition, while the leaders had anticipated a serene portrait of Jesus reclining at the table with his disciples, they were treated instead to a very controversial work that depicted a very chaotic scene, just as he was announcing his betrayal. This scandal caused the painting to become quite famous almost instantly. Unfortunately, because of the technique used, it also began deteriorating almost instantly as well. Today we have almost no certainty about what the original painting actually looked like.

I'm sorry if you were hoping for something about the book or movie. Try this blog and this website for starters.

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