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mashuga | all galleries >> Galleries >> Homage > Homage to Andrea Del Castagno. "Last Supper."
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Homage to Andrea Del Castagno. "Last Supper."

Andrea del Castagno (or Andrea di Bartolo di Bargilla) (c. 1421–1457) was an Italian painter from Florence, influenced chiefly by Tommaso Masaccio and Giotto di Bondone. His works include frescoes in Sant'Apollonia in Florence and the painted equestrian monument of Niccolò da Tolentino (1456) in the Cathedral in Florence.

Last Supper
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Detail pictures of pieces of the “Last Supper.” By Del Castagno.

Sometimes I mistakenly think that abstract art is a product mostly by artists of the 20th century. The image of “rock wall” I posted last evening left me stumped and frustrated, because way back deep in my memory bank, there was a work of art that I wanted to reference. I remembered a painting that I first encountered many years ago, probably during my art school days, that wowed me and left me wondering about “modern” art. I wanted to reference that painting yesterday, with my image of the rock wall, but I just couldn’t remember who it was by, or the particular subject matter. I could only remember that I was shocked way back then, that there were abstract paintings (paintings within a painting) in an extremely old, possibly even as earlier as the European Renaissance of the 14th–17th centuries. I started to search the web with only my vague recollections to guide me. No luck identifying it yesterday even after looking at literally hundreds of paintings via Goggle Images and general web hunting. It really bothered me to not be able to identify this work I knew existed. I took a trip today to my universities library where I finally solved the puzzle. I found the image in an old version of “Janson’s History of Art. Ah, sweet relief from brain strain. The work was “The Last Supper” by Andrea Del Castagno painted in 1447. The idea that I think is most significant here is that the frames behind each of the figures in the Last Supper are really paintings in themselves. They are each individual abstract paintings that have a look of a modern 20th century aesthetic. I think you could somehow extract each frame from Del Castagno’s painting and it would feel right at home in MOMA or any contemporary art gallery. I’m not suggesting that Del Castagno painted them in that context when he painted his “Last Supper.” I think he probably used the frames and designs within them as compositional devices to call attention to each figures in the painting? I hope you find this idea as fascinating as I do and have a quick look at the painting and detail links I’ve posted. I guess the adage, there’s nothing new under the sun” really is true.

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