|Courtesy of www.dalipaintings.com|
The Sacrament of the Last Supper was painted using oil on canvas, in 1955. An art collector called Chester Dale commissioned the painting. Whilst he was enormously pleased with the painting, some critics viewed it as a
mediocre rendering of a much-used subject. The subject is Christ's Last Supper, which has been painted by many artists over the centuries.
Twelve pentagons and twelve apostles, as Dali said: Communion must be symmetric.
Amongst these renditions is a version by one of Dali's favorite artists, Leonardo da Vinci. Like The Last Supper by Da Vinci, Dali's The Sacrament of the Last Supper shows Christ sitting centrally at a table with the disciples around him and in the background, windows look on to a landscape, in Dali's case, it is that of a bay near his home of Port Lligat. The figure of Christ is transparent, and above him the arms and chest of a man appear in the sky, suggesting that he is already ascending to heaven. An aspect of the painting that caused controversy was the fact that Christ was given Gala's features. Dali had already portrayed Gala as the Madonna in several earlier paintings, and in 1958 he was to show the image of Gala looking down on Christ as he ascends to Heaven, in the painting The Ascension of Christ.