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Mystical Supper

This icon of the Last Supper is a contemporary rendition of a particular Byzantine style, perfected in Constantinople during the twelfth century.In this example, Christ is in the center flanked by six apostles at each side. The artist captures the moment in the Gospel of John when Christ reveals: “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me” (13:21). Each apostle gestures as if surprised and in denial, illustrating the next verse: “The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke”. A few apostles can be identified based on their traditional iconography: to Christ’s left is a very young John, resting on his shoulder, and to Christ’s right is St. Peter, known as the Prince (first) of the Apostles. Unlike later Renaissance depictions, Judas is not easily recognizable as the betrayer; this may be because his act of disloyalty did not take place yet—in art, that act is usually symbolized by his ironic kiss in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:48).
The spatial compositi…

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