This is the Passion Week(Holy Week) for the Christians. It is the period from Palm Sunday to EasterSunday and includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. (See Memories:Passion Week, half a century back)
The Last Supper, which was immortalized by Da Vinci, took place on Maundy Thursday. It was during thismeal that Christ announced that one of his twelve disciples would betray him.Christ was crucified on Good Friday. For Christians it is a time of prayers,meditation and fasting.
I was not planning any blogpost for today. What made me do this one is a five column report in the Malayala Manorama newspaper this morningabout the new Last Supper painting in the St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Cochin. While this oilon canvass painting is modeled on the Da Vinci creation, the faces and thebackground are different. Also, Jesus is shown blessing the Host while in theoriginal the hands are kept on the table.
The Last Supper which DaVinci did in Milan, Italy towards the end of the 15cwas 15ft x 29ft. The new one at Cochinis 8ftx20ft. It is believed to be the largest canvas painting in Kerala. The canvasand the paints were imported. Da Vinci took about four years to complete hismasterpiece. The Cochinone was done in six months.
There are differences alsobetween the original painting and the one kept in the Royal Academy of Arts, London whichwas painted in 1520 by Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli. Interestingly, it was this copy(?) which served as the guide for the 21 years (1978-1999) restoration of theoriginal Last Supper. The two paintings and the sketches by Da Vinci arereproduced below from Wikimedia Commons. Click on them to enlarge. The painter in Cochin is Sara Hussain.(I am not sure whether she spells her name ‘Sara’ or ‘Zarah’ or ‘Zara’.) Can’tbe any relation of MF Hussain. She is from Arookutty (Islandsin the Sun) near Cochin.This girl has a 1st Class Diploma in painting and is currently doingBSc Multimedia in the Annamalai University. What isremarkable is that Sara Hussain has done paintings for twelve churches in India.
I plan to go and see thepainting soon after the Easter rush is over.