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A new theory on The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci posted on the Independent.  The original English text with Japanese translation.

The Independentに載っているレオナルド・ダ・ヴィンチ作「最後の晩餐」に関する新説です。英語の原文と和訳です。


The other Da Vinci code: did Leonardo paint himself into The Last Supper?


For years scholars have wondered what he looked like. But was the answer staring them in the face all along?

Image: independent.co.uk

Friday 17 August 2012

It is a question that has fascinated art historians: what did Leonardo da Vinci look like?
The Renaissance genius left no youthful self-portraits, although academics have long suspected that he may have inserted his likeness into one of his own masterpieces.
But now one art expert has proposed a tantalising new theory – that Leonardo actually depicted himself, twice, in The Last Supper, one of art’s most famous paintings.


Ross King, the author of the international bestseller Brunelleschi’s Dome, believes Leonardo used his own face for the apostles Thomas and James the Lesser in the 500-year-old mural in Milan.
His evidence lies partly in a little-known poem written in the 1490s – when Leonardo was painting The Last Supper. Its author, Gasparo Visconti, was a friend of the artist and, like him, a Sforza court employee.
In humorous verse, Visconti mocks an unnamed artist for putting his self-portrait into his paintings – “however handsome it may be” – and with his own “actions and ways”, namely gestures and expressions.


Leonardo’s own good looks were legendary, recorded by his 16th century biographer, Giorgio Vasari, as “endowed by heaven with beauty, grace and talent”. And Thomas’s upraised finger gesture in the painting was viewed by contemporaries as a Leonardo trademark.
Dr King also points to a red chalk drawing, believed to depict Leonardo around 1515, sketched by one of his assistants. It shows a classically handsome man with a Greek nose, flowing hair and a long beard – “a rare sight on the chins of 15th century Italians”, he notes. In The Last Supper, Thomas – to the right of Christ – and James the Lesser – second from left – are reminiscent of that image – both with a Greek nose, flowing hair and a beard.
Dr King told The Independent: “The Last Supper is the only work that no one – either crackpot or academic – has tried to identify as a Leonardo portrait.”


Bloomsbury Publishing will publish his latest research in Leonardo and The Last Supper on 30 August, coinciding with its choice as BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week.
Little of Leonardo’s original mural, painted for the refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery, survives today. Besides deteri oration, Allied bombing exposed it to the elements and its subsequent restoration left critics divided.
In his book, Dr King writes that “Leonardo-spotting has become a popular pastime” with numerous supposed identifications. He adds that the most famous is the supposed self-portrait of an old man in red chalk. However, as it is now believed to date from the 1490s – contemporary with The Last Supper – it cannot be a self-portrait.
Charles Nicholl, the noted Leonardo scholar, said: “Of all the apostles that [Leonardo] would wish to be identified with, I think Doubting Thomas would be top of his list because Leonardo was a great believer in asking questions rather than accepting what people tell you.”

出版社のブルームズベリー社は、博士のダ・ヴィンチと「最後の晩餐」に関する最新の研究内容を8月30日に出版する予定で、奇しくもBBC ラジオ4が「今週の一冊」でとりあ上げる日と重なっている。


Image: Wikipedia


* 「疑いのトマス(Doubting Thomas)」とは、使徒トマスが実際にキリストの傷に触れるまで、キリストの復活を信じなかったという逸話から、直接的、物理的、個人的な証拠がなければ信じない人、つまり、疑い深い人のこと。