The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci- Interview with Jean Luc Angrand

The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci- Interview with Jean Luc Angrand

Cindy Dupuy (CD): Hello Jean Luc Angrand, can you tell us about your interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper?

JLA (Jean Luc Angrand): My description of this work does not follow the academic norm; a standard which is, however, entirely valid for a so-called "classic" reading.

A classic reading that unquestionably demonstrates that it depicts Jesus and his twelve disciples; a dinner scene known to all Christians worldwide.

However, this book discusses the hidden meaning of this work, which constitutes a puzzle that Leonardo da Vinci enjoyed creating; many Italian Renaissance artists did the same.

I chose to show you what I've found, and it consists of a set of hypotheses that deserve to be revealed. Just hypotheses.

So let's examine this work from the perspective of hermetic interpretation (hidden things); for the classic (academic) reading of this piece, a plethora of other books will inform you.

CD: What does it represent?

The Last Supper (in Italian: L’Ultima Cena, meaning "the Last Dinner") by Leonardo da Vinci is a wall fresco measuring 460 × 880 cm, created between 1495 and 1498 for the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.

The Last Supper (from the Latin cena: evening meal) is the name given by Christians to the last meal that Jesus Christ took with the Twelve Apostles on Maundy Thursday, before the Jewish Passover, shortly before his arrest, the day before his Crucifixion (also referred to as the Passion by Christians).

This meal took place three days before his resurrection.

An intriguing scene is depicted on the left, where Eve, wearing a pink dress, is disguised as a man with a small beard. Eve, the originator of original sin, is pushed out of Paradise by Uriel, the Archangel of punishment. She is next to a young man standing to her left, at the end of the table. Eve's hand touches an old bearded man who is whispering to the Virgin Mary.

The man displaying both his hands is Adam, denying his crime. Later, he will play the role of Pontius Pilate. So, starting from the left, we have the Angel Uriel expelling Eve and Adam. To Adam's right, the old bearded man speaking to Mary is the Archangel Gabriel announcing the Annunciation. The meaning of this scene is well known; it signifies that the Virgin Mary came to erase Eve's sin; Mary embodies purity.

Finally, the man at the table turning to look at Mary is the traitor, Judas, holding a purse filled with money in his hand.

CD: So it's about the Old Testament?

JLA: Yes, but also the New Testament represented by the following characters.

To the right, I've included in my book ULTIMATE BLASPHEMY a scene of the transfer of purity from Eve to Mary, painted by Sandro Botticelli:

The same divine transition scene between Eve and Mary exists in "The Spring," another masterpiece by Sandro Botticelli. Eve, the sinner, almost nude, is expelled from paradise by the angel of death and punishment, Uriel. From her mouth emerges her purity, in the form of flowers, which abundantly transfer to the Virgin Mary; Mary becomes the new Eve.

CD: What's the connection with Leonardo's Last Supper?

It's this scene of purity transfer found in Leonardo's Last Supper. When reasoning hermetically, the hands of Eve are placed on the male figure, the Archangel Gabriel, and Gabriel's hand is on the female character, who is believed to be the Virgin Mary, mistakenly thought to be a man. One loses purity, and the other gains it.

Of course, this free interpretation does not invalidate the traditional academic version. The point is to open your mind to the hidden (hermetic) interpretation, a common practice among great Renaissance artists. Both Botticelli and Dürer subtly include the character of Uriel in their works frequently. For more information, I refer you to my other books.

CD: You mentioned Pontius Pilate. Where is he?

A character plays both Adam and Pontius Pilate.

Scene 1: The actor displaying both his hands portrayed Adam in the previous scene. The knife of the Archangel Gabriel indicates that both he and his companion, Eve, are mortal. The angel Uriel, at the far left of the painting, is there to make this clear.

Scene 2: He now plays the role of the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate and indicates with his raised hands that he bears no responsibility for Jesus' death sentence; he washes his hands of it.

This character indeed plays two roles in a hermetic reading of this work.

CD: Let's get back to the Virgin Mary. So, for you, the old man is the Archangel Gabriel?

JLA: Yes, it's a foundational scene in both Christian and Muslim narratives. Here, the Archangel Gabriel is represented by an old bearded man announcing to the Virgin that she will be the mother of the Messiah.

In the angel's hand is a knife, indicating that he will be sacrificed.

CD: Where is the traitor Judas?

He is in the foreground. The traitor Judas, who betrayed Jesus; this despicable figure holds the purse containing the price of his betrayal.

CD: You talk about a heresy called Baptist present in this fresco?

Here, we recognize it by the finger pointing to the sky, which appears in many of Leonardo's works.

It's a sign of recognition of Saint John the Baptist but even more of a heresy that occupied Leonardo.

The Baptist heresy, found in Saint Anne, The Virgin of the Rocks, Saint John the Baptist, posits, to simplify, that the true Messiah was Saint John the Baptist.

The figure in the foreground is, therefore, Saint John the Baptist, who seems to moderate one of his followers, who is attacking Jesus. His arm blocks the discontented one.

CD: The scene of Saint Peter's denial is also present in the fresco.

JLA: Yes, here's an excerpt from the Bible that describes the scene:

"When Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. 'You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,' she said. But he denied it, saying, 'I don't know or understand what you're talking about.' He went out into the entryway, and a rooster crowed. The servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, 'This fellow is one of them.' Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, 'Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.' He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, 'I don't know this man you're talking about.' Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: 'Before the rooster crows twice, you will disown me three times.' And he broke down and wept."

The scene of Saint Peter and his three denials is clearly depicted in the fresco.

To the right, a bearded man represents Saint Peter, accused of being a follower of Jesus by a servant girl. Afraid of being imprisoned

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