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4- 19 p Er MoNDRIAN. Composnion in Whne, Block, ond Red. 935. Oil on canvas, 40% x41".

Collectlon, The Museum

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MrEs vaN oER RoHE. Crown Ha l, lllinois Institute of TechnoloSy, Chica8o. 1952-56

of llodern Art, New York. Gif! of the Advisor/

sonre\(trt more like Mondrian $.rn like Russell. They soughr far above rhenlselves for inspiration and turncd thcir backs on the Lletails of everyday existence. ln its r,:ry tlrc fa:rnaLts l.dst Snfper (.F9.4-21) by Leonardo da Vinci (1452 l5l9)is es good an cxample ofthe Renriss.rnce se.lrch for harlnony as Mondrian's pailting is of twcnticft'cen!rr y seriousness. Ler us examine ir ir terms of Line and forn. The rvork is remarkably symmetricrl. Leonardo assembled fie nvelve .rposrles rn four groups of $ree with two groups to tlre left of Christ and two grorps ro His right. Chrisr Himsclf is posecl encl cL eut so rs to folm a pvr:rmid (fig.,1-22). Hc is d1c nros! sr.rble *ipe in tlle entire work, and rhe nlosr isol.rred and self suffcient 6gurc. Thc r11olncnt is irllmediatelv .rfrer He has spoken the words, "Onc of you shall bctlay mc." Thc parry is .tlive $irh specr lation. ludas, Nhose he:d is fourth fron the left, draws back in fear.rnd hxtfcd.HisoutlxreisasrriangularastheMasrer'sburislopsided,scalcnc,and fer lcss st.rble. Of the disciples only he h.rs a face caughr by darkncss. His left aln is p.rrallelto dre left arn ofthe disciple seated between him andJcsus, rnd
drc two disciples' arms are et en angle to dre table which rs precisely opposite to the angle srruck by lesus's right arm. This esrablishes betwccn Christ and His neighbor a wide V rhat echoes His ot'n silhouetre inverted. At thc point of drcVHe is in conracr$,idr rhe rdjacentdisciple. tsutrhe width of rhe V and the repetition of its left side inJud,rls amr bars Him from the trairor. By nrcaN of this geomerry Leonardo conveys borh rhe historical closeness and thc moral dist.rnce berrveen the Messi:rh and ludas. Then drared rrianguLarity accencs

the fact that drey are the princip:l acrors rn dris historic event. Of coLrrsc, Chrisr is d1e focus of rhe t.rLe. And He is, quite literally, the ibcus of the pictlrrc. Noroniy is He on centersuge, He is fie spoton *4rich the lines ofrhe ceiling converge. Similarlv, the rops of the tapestries on either wrll are in line with His forchcad. So are the edges of rhe table. He is se.rred before a rectangularwindow acccntcd by xcrrvecl molding tlrat rescrrlbles a halo. Too, rhere arc Iincar dcvclopmcnts thfonglr d1e disciple groups, lerdin! us ro rh cenrral figure. k rs a vcry austcrc, harnonious, and thoughtfLrl work.
LINE AND

FORi'i

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4-2t

LEoNARDo DA vLNc. Ihe Lo$ supper 1495 98. Mural Santa flaria

dell Grdie. Milan

4-22 Diram of principal srrucrural ProPrries of Leonardo! The Lost Slppr

Leonardo\ I-rst Srrppe, is rhe most fanrous ofthcrn all, bur tbe subiecr has been created by many othcr painters. Ncarly a cenrury later, tlre Venetian printer Tinrorerto undertook the sanre tlrcnre on a sinrilar scale (fi8.4'23) But how different from Leorr:rrdot is his conception ofthe evenr!The main point ofconvergcnce is no longerChrisr's face but isoreron rhe far right.Thervholc thrust of rhe room is opposcd to drar of the vielcr's eye, rvhich is yanked across rhe picture towrrd Jcsus. This effect is achicved partlv by means of Chrisfs bright halo; all thc halos are like shouts in the night in rhis dark and smokv inn, bur His is largest. h is also rhe rrlost radi:rnr, and itcasts a lighrso porverful rhar sharp shado$'s fall fronr it across the ligures in rhe forefront of dre picture. A very dislinct pathu'ay is created by the coincidence of tbc

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ART: THE WAY lT lS

4-23 rrNroRErro- Ihe Ldst s,Pper 1592 94. Oil on canvas,

l2'x

l8'8".

San

ciortio

shadow beneath the foot of the nearest person in the right Ioreground, the folds in the gannents of the kneeling maid, the shadow of the maid's head, Christ's plate, and the edge o{His robe. The cherubim and seraphirn boiling down from the oil lanps in the ceiljng are coordinated wirh the figure of Christ. There are numerous other chains ofthis generaltype, such as the one leading from the basket up through the serving table and on to Christ. The Tintoreto is far, far more dramatic rhan rhe Leonardo.Ir is theatrical. This has a good deal to do with the history of the Church. The Leonado was painted before the beginnings of rhe Protestanr tuformarion. Leonardo was, personally, a skeptic in matrers of the faith. Bur he was not self-conscious about the depictions of gospel stories. He took them for granted. In fact, the stability of Rome, the permanence of the Church, and the patronage of the devout could all be taken very much for granred. After 1517, however, this

was no longer rrue. Once Marrin Luther had successfully challenged the aurhoriry ofRome, the Church was on rhe defensive. Tintoretto was apainter ofrhe Counrer Reformation, Rome's answerto rhe rhreat of Protestantism, an increasingly powerful nrfluence in northern Europe.z Tintoretro did not take the Lasr Supper for granted; he wished to thrill viewers with his portrayal, wished to move rhem to accept the conrinuiiy of the Roman Church from Christ through Perer all rhe way up ro their own day. Notice that Leonardo keeps us down in the orchesrra pit, as ir were, while Tintoretto sets us upon rhe sr.rge. I eonardo.how. u. J rrbleru: T .rrorerto irvirfr our parriciparion. Tintoretro was a propagandist for the Catholic posirion, and his work is devoted to propagation ofthe true faith. He marshals every resource available to him to dramatize evenrs from Christ's life, ro invst mere painrwith hints of the rruly miraculous. Thus his use of line and form is charged with dynamic energy, full of grand sweeps, rhrusts, and counterthrusts. He enlists the capaciries ofline and form !o touch the viewer enotionally so as to simulate the effectof a mystical experience. Leonardo's pacific symmetry is an emblem of a rime when rhe permanence and order of the Church rvere exempt from challenge. Trrroretro..ryle r' a.hour for rtrenrion.

The ShaDes of Vehus and Adonis Line

and form are characreristics of all images, norjusr ose produced by artisrs with pencils, pens, and brushes. The photograph of a nude wonan (fig. 4-24) is subjecr to the same kind of analysis as a painting or a draw;ng. The photographer cannor control the line as decisivly as a paintefi buthe can, by means ofpose and lighting, articulate his images. The woman portrayed in figure 4 24 is composed. The photograLINE AND

FORM

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