Art and Culture

High-Resolution Scan of The Last Supper Shows Fascinating New Details

A new high-resolution scan of The Last Supper gives a crystal clear look at the famous painting. Leonardo da Vinci is considered one of the finest artists and thinkers of all time. He created works that have endured for centuries, like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, the latter of which is thought to be the greatest depiction of a Biblical scene in all western European art. In it, Jesus and his 12 disciples are eating literally Christ’s last meal, and it was painted as a mural on a wall at a Dominican monastery by the great painter in 1498, in Milan.

But da Vinci chose as his medium a then-new substance, a combination of egg tempera and oil paint, and it was done on plaster. It was cutting edge stuff back then, but he couldn’t have known how quickly the mural would fade, and soon its edges were diminishing, along with its colors. And throughout the centuries, the room the mural adorned was used for a myriad number of things, including a stable by Napoleon. Part of the mural was eliminated when a doorway was built straight through it, essentially chopping out Christ’s feet from it altogether, which can now be seen in this newly-enhanced scan.

The original Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

In other words, it took plenty of abuse because of the environment in which The Last Supper was painted. Two of Da Vinci’s students, brothers Giapietrino and Giovanni Boltraffio, decided to ensure the painting’s future by preserving it in a copy, painted between 1515 and 1520. They followed their teacher’s lines and colours, but this time did it in traditional oil paint, on canvas.

It is that painting that hangs today in the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and is what researchers, scholars and others have studied when learning about Da Vinci, and the painting’s importance to European art in general, and religious art specifically. (Or folks can go view the original mural in Milan.)

The new high-resolution copy of Leonardo’s The Last Supper, Giampietrino and Giovanni Antonio Boltfraffio (ca. 1515-1520). © Royal Academy of Arts, London. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Limited.

Now, Google has entered the arena with a scan of the painting, done by Google Arts & Culture. The department reproduced the brothers’ copy of the masterpiece, and in doing so ensured that more than a billion pixels — the little computer “particles” that comprise a picture on screens — make the scan as rich in detail and color as technologically possible. The company recently said that it hopes this work will enable scholars to do even more precise and detailed work on the painting in the future. One can zoom in on a particular part of the image and study it up close, in a way that has previously been impossible.

Detail of Jesus’ shoes in the newly-enhanced painting of The Last Supper. Courtesy of Google Arts and Culture

The scan reveals some details that are easily missed upon casual viewing. For example, there is a knocked over container of salt in front of Judas, the disciple who betrays Christ the following day, and spilled salt was, in Da Vinci’s time, considered a bad omen. No doubt he included it deliberately, in order to be faithful to the Biblical tale he wanted the work to depict.

Detail showing that someone spilled the salt. Lloyd Christmas thought spilling the salt was very bad luck. Courtesy of Google Arts and Culture.

Although the Last Supper scan is available to view online and will no doubt be of considerable interest to academics who study Da Vinci and other paintings of his time, the original work in the monastery is a huge draw to scholars and the public alike. The Italian government goes to great lengths to preserve the famous work as much as possible, most recently completing a restoration in 1999.

Related Article: Hidden Meanings and Secret Codes Buried in Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’

But since travel is currently difficult, the Google scan just might be an acceptable way to look at the work, at least for now. It may not be like being in the room with the original mural, but viewing art, in any way we can, is always a positive and valuable endeavor. And the time will come, sooner or later, that folks can, in fact, head to Milan to see the real Last Supper. Until then, looking at the scan, which includes all the painting, even Jesus’ once-missing feet, will have to do.

You can see an enlarged version of the Last Supper scan HERE.

Think your friends would be interested? Share or reblog this story!

MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of WITNESS TO HISTORY, RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL (Paperback / Ebook), TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROESMEGACAUST,  DEATH OF A CITY,  MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME, THE ALL LIES INVASION (Paperback / Ebook), THE All LIES INVASION II (Paperback / Ebook)Odyssey Adolf Hitler, Death of a City, SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY, REICH AND WRONG, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME II Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors, The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise, and other book titles. These best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

 MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling THE LAST GLADIATORS Fiancés of Death (Paperback / Ebook); AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS: African Victims of the Liberal-Left (Paperback / Ebook); RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL European to Wall Street Colonialism (Paperback / Ebook); RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL (Paperback / Ebook), EUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASION (Paperback / Ebook), THE All LIES INVASION II (Paperback / Ebook), Death of a City, and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

The dissident author’s books available for purchase by visiting his website BOOKSTORE, and POETRY  links.

We are in debt to our donors who finance the distribution of spin-free real news and fearlessly expressed views.


MEGACAUST Michael Walsh. R. J. Rummel,   Power Kills: Genocide and Mass Murder (Journal of Peace Research) 164 million people have been killed in cold blood this century by Capitalist / Communist governments. 

SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY  Michael Walsh. Covertly sponsored by Wall Street banks and the White House Bolsheviks seized Tsarist Russia (regime change). For 36 years news of Bolshevik atrocities and 70 million martyred Christians were censored by Western media.  Lavishly illustrated, this expose reveals secrets removed from Western history books.

When ordering the book contact Michael Walsh by email to receive your signed copy.

KEEP REAL NEWS OPEN: Donate by using Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, registered mail or contact Michael Walsh: or 2) Follow our blog. 3) Share our stories and 4) buy our author-signed books. 5) Receive free newsletters by writing subscribe to

BOOKS THAT CHALLENGE, INSPIRE, INFORM Michael Walsh, ‘Writer of the Year’ with a strong global following. Nearly 70 interesting Amazon book titles famed for changing and improving lives. CLICK TO VIEW

New stories every day!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s