Summary: A short exhortation for Youth.
(A short exhortation for Youth)
THE TRUE STORY OF THE LAST SUPPER.
The painting of the Last Supper is extremely interesting and instructive. The two incidents connected with it afford a most convincing lesson on the effects of right and wrong thinking in the life of a boy or a girl or a man or a woman. Leonardo da Vinci, a noted Italian artist, painted the Last Supper; and the time engaged for its completion was seven years. The figures representing the twelve apostles and Christ himself were painted from living persons. The life model for the painting of the figure of Jesus was chosen. When it was decided that Da Vinci would paint this great picture, hundreds of young man were carefully viewed in an endeavor to find a face and personality exhibiting innocence and beauty, free from the scars and signs of dissipation caused by sin. Finally, after weeks of laborious searching, a young man nineteen years of age was selected as a model for the portrayal of Christ. For six months, da Vinci worked on the production of this leading character of his famous painting. During the next six years, da Vinci continued his labors on this sublime work of art. One by one, fitting persons were chosen to represent each of the eleven apostles; space being left for the painting of the figure representing Judas Iscariot as the final task of this masterpiece. This was the Apostle, you remember, who betrayed his Lord for 30 pieces of silver, worth in our present day, currency of $16.96 For weeks, Da Vinci searched for a man with a hard callous face, with a countenance marked by scars of avarice, deceit, hypocrisy and crime; a face that could delineate a character who could betray his best friend. After many discouraging experiences in searching for the type of person required to represent Judas, word came to Da Vinci that a man whose appearance met his requirements had been found in a dungeon in Rome, sentenced to die for a life of crime and murder. Da Vinci made the trip to Rome at once, and this man was brought out from his imprisonment in the dungeon and led out into the light of the sun. There, Da Vinci saw before him a dark, swarthy man; his long, shaggy and unkempt hair sprawled over his face, which betrayed a character of viciousness and complete ruin. At last, the famous painter has found the person he wanted to represent the character of Judas in his painting. By special permission from the king, this prisoner was carried to Milan where the picture was being painted; and for months he sat before Da Vinci at appointed hours each day as the gifted artist diligently continued his task of transmitting to his painting this base character in the picture representing the traitor and betrayer of our savior. As he finished his last stroke, he turned to the guards and said, “I have finished. You may take the prisoner away.” As the guards were leading the prisoner away, he suddenly broke loose from their control and rushed up to Da Vinci, crying as he did so, “O Da Vinci, look at me! Do you not know who I am?” Da Vinci, with the trained eyes of a great character student, carefully scrutinized the man upon whose face had constantly gazed for six months and replied, “No, I have never seen you in my life until you were brought before me out of the dungeon in Rome.” Then, lifting his eyes toward heaven, the prisoner said, “Oh, God, have I fallen so low? Then turning his face to the painter he cried, “ Leonardo Da Vinci! Look at me again for I am the same man you painted just seven years ago as the figure of Christ. This is the true story of the painting of the Last Supper that teaches so strongly the lesson of the effects of right or wrong thinking on the life of an individual. Here was a young man whose character was so pure, unspoiled by the sins of the world that he presented the countenance of innocence and beauty fit to be used for the painting of a representation of Christ. But, within seven years, following the thoughts of sin and a life of crime, he was changed into a perfect picture of the most traitorous character ever known in the history of the world.