Renaissance shadow over contemporary art: Penultimate suppers (an encore)

It’s that Easter season among western Christian sects; this is Holy Week, which commemorates Jesus’s final entry into Jerusalem and the events leading Jesus’s crucifixion.

Our congregation will stage a “living” Last Supper a la da Vinci, which got me to thinking about the painting, which reminded me of this post from years ago; some minor updating, and I’ve added a new version I found from ABC’s series, “Lost,” which was in the middle of its run when I posted this originally in 2008:

Jeremy Barker at Popped Culture assembled more than 30 versions of contemporary recastings of DaVinci’s painting of “The Last Supper.” There’s the Simpsons version, the cartoon version with Disney and Warner Bros. characters. There’s the Sopranos version, and the Battlestar Galactica version.

For example, the Robert Altman version, from M*A*S*H:

Last Supper, M*A*S*H style

Last Supper, M*A*S*H style

If you need a 20 minute lesson on the influence of Renaissance art on contemporary art, this is one many high school kids may find interesting, if not amazingly historically informative. I suspect there is a great lesson plan hiding in there about 20th century history as reflected in parody art.

It’s a brilliant and subtle demonstration of the power of DaVinci’s art that there are so many copy cat pictures, don’t you think?

I did notice, however, that Barker left out the Mel Brooks version, from “History of the World, Part I.” It may not fit the meme.

Mel Brooks'

“Last Supper” as portrayed in Mel Brooks’s “History of the World, Part I”

Finally, looking today I found this “Lost” version of the Last Supper at Art is Everywhere, showing the meme is live and well.

“Lost” Last Supper; probably a publicity still, found at Art is Everywhere.

Do you have favorite parodies or homages of the Last Supper left off of these lists of 31 different versions?  By all means, list them in comments, with links if you have them.


Resources added in 2013:

3 Responses to Renaissance shadow over contemporary art: Penultimate suppers (an encore)

  1. […] History and art, Religion, Renaissance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own […]


  2. jsojourner says:

    Well, we know what has been done with Dogs Playing Poker…one of the great works of art. I wonder if there is one of Jesus and the Disciples.


  3. JamesK says:

    THere’s probably a Hobbit/Lord of the Rings version somewhere.

    And a Harry Potter version


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