Fra Angelico, The Last Supper

15th century
Convent of St. Mark, Florence

As is common in Last Supper images of the period, the event is re-imagined as a contemporary distribution of communion, the Apostles receiving small wafers on the tongue. Their gestures signify prayer and humility, some of them pressing hands together and others crossing their arms over their chests.

In the right foreground four Apostles kneel in preparation for receiving the host. Among them, Judas can be identified by his darkened halo. Mary kneels facing them on the left. She not in the gospel accounts nor in most other Last Supper images.

The fictive space, an "upper room" in Mark 14:15 and Luke 22:12, nevertheless opens onto a garden with a well, probably a reference to the "living water" of John 4:11 and especially 7:37b-38, "Jesus stood and cried, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. He that believeth in me, as the scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."

Read more about images of the Last Supper.

Photographed at the convent by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.