Guided visits everyday as follows:
English language: 9:30 am and 3:30 pm
Italian language: 10:00 am and 4:00 pm
Reservations must be made with a minimum of 1 day notice.
Extensive measures have been implemented to protect the fresco from further exposure. To ensure that the fresco be kept at room temperature, since restoration the visitor intake has been restricted to a group of 25 admitted.
Before making your reservation, please, read the Ordering Informations
IMPORTANT NOTICE: After succesfully completing a reservation, you will receive two e- mails: the copy of your order (immediately after submitting your order) and the confirmation mail (one working day after). In order to receive them, please make sure you insert your e-mail address correctly and check that your anti-spam filter or antivirus are not blocking mails from our address [email protected] Special attention for AOL mailbox users.
PLEASE NOTICE: Confirmed time is not always the same time you requested; museum automatically confirms the closest available time on the same date if requested time is sold out. Tickets will be confirmed upon availability of museum.
For cancellations once a confirmation code has been assigned to the reservation, up to 25 days before the date of the visit, we can refund cost of unused tickets minus service fee (reservation fee and online booking fee). For further cancellations and no shows, no refund is possible.
The museum is closed on Monday, 1st January, 1st May and 25th December.
Reservations are mandatory for any kind of ticket.
Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper
In the refectory of the 15th century Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, is located Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of art. The magnificent Renassaince Church and attached refectory are due to Ludovico il Moro.
Duke Ludovico il Moro chose the Dominican church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, founded in 1463, as the mausoleum for himself and his family. It construction began in 1492 on a new and gigantic chancel topped by a decorated dome projected by Bramante, who also designed the marble doorway, the old sacristy and the small cloister "of the frogs." Frescoes by Lombard Renaissance masters Butinone, Zenale and Gaudenzio Ferrari ornate the interior.
Meanwhile, in 1494 Leonardo da Vinci was summoned to work on the church and to fresco the north wall of the refectory. Leonardo finished in 1498, a year before the French entered Milan and ended the grandiose funerary projects of Ludovico il Moro. Painting illustrates one of the most highly intense emotional moments from the New Testament with an unprecedented physiognomic approach and luminous outcome. While the Last Supper is a typical subject chosen for the decoration of many a refectory also because of its Eucharistic theme of sacrifice, Leonardo chose to capture the moment immediately after Christ's announcement that one of his apostles would betray him. In that instant, the apostles look at one another in astonishment as Peter tells John, on Christ's left, to ask him to whom he refers.
The setting within the painting presents a coffered ceiling, walls decorated with tapestries (this portion of the fresco has not been cleaned) and three windows in the background. Light shines on the scene from the left and was probably meant to be natural, allowing Leonardo to reproduce many of the phenomena that he observed in nature. One of these was the propagation of waves in circles, as when a pebble is dropped in a pool. It can be compared to the effect of Christ's words on his apostles and the disturbed expressions of the different apostles. Last Supper still strikes viewers for its great emotional force.
Leonardo's Las Supper, until a short time ago, was not well preserved, thanks to the experimental technique that the great master adopted to paint it. He chose to use tempera on a gesso base instead of the usual "a buon fresco" method, and its conditions did not improve after continuous attempts to touch it up and consolidate it over the next few centuries.
Nevertheless, the Last Supper, together with the "Crucifixion" frescoed by Montorfano on the opposite wall, managed to survive World War II bombings that brought down the rest of the refectory. The last restoration took over 20 years and was completed in 1999. It succeeded in recuperating original parts of Leonardo's incredible painting, so that although on a whole the fresco is fragmentary, it is finally possible to grasp its true beauty.