Illustrated Journal #8

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“The Last Supper” by Tintoretto

“The Last Supper” by Tintoretto (1592–1594) is an absolutely incredible piece that demonstrates the use of vanishing points, as well as contrast. When I first viewed this image last year in my Art History class, I was absolutely astonished by Tintoretto’s ability to draw the viewer’s eye directly to the bright glowing light behind the man identified as Jesus. By placing a bright, shimmering object against an otherwise dark background, the artist is able to instantly draw your attention to the main person in the image; Jesus. The use of contrast also helps to create incredibly realistic lighting conditions throughout the rest of the scene. An example of this being the man on the far left leaning towards the table. The top of his head and shoulder/upper back are illuminated by the light source above him, but as to be expected in reality, cast a shadow on the lower portion of his body and clothing. It is not 100% black and non-visible, which makes it all the more realistic and not visually unflattering. Another aspect that makes this piece so great is the use of vanishing points/perspective. Right away you are able to know that the room extends into the distance from left to right because of the artists use of converging parallel lines. This gives the room a sense of depth; although it is a 2D image. This effect is even more noticeable as the people further in the “back” of the room become smaller in scale.

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