Is da Vinci’s Last Supper accurate?

HomeReligion, Atheism, and Odd TheologyIs da Vinci’s Last Supper accurate?

Nope. Here are a few reasons why we know that Leonardo da Vinci’s painting doesn’t tell the same story we read in the Bible:

In the painting, it’s daytime. The Passover meal would have been eaten after sundown.

In the painting, there’s loaf of bread on the table. A loaf is made with yeast…and yeast was forbidden on Passover, as it represented sin. Some type of matzah bread would have been used.

It’s highly likely that they would have been drinking wine…but there’s no wine pitcher.

In the painting, the dinner is fish. Lamb would have been served.

In the painting, the men are in clothes from the Renaissance.

In the painting, none of the men are wearing a prayer shawl…traditionally, they would have all worn one, especially during Passover.

In the painting, the tablecloth looks like a prayer shawl…which would never have been used in this manner.

It’s highly likely that there would have been a washbasin on the table…but it’s not there.

In the painting, the men look like western Europeans…not at all like people from the Middle East.

In the painting, they’re sitting at a regular table…the style of Jesus’ day was to recline at a low table.

In the painting, they’re sitting in chairs…the style of Jesus’ day was to recline on pillows or to sit on very low benches.

In the painting, everyone is sitting upright…the style of Jesus’ day was to recline during a meal.

In the painting, the walls of the room are finished and look like marble…this is very unlikely.

In the painting, it’s daytime…so there are no lamps or candles. Since the Passover meal is eaten after sundown, they would be all over the place.

In the painting, a few of the men have no facial hair…in Jesus’ day, most men (if not all of them) would have had a beard.

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5 responses to “Is da Vinci’s Last Supper accurate?”

  1. Michael Fenton says:

    What you write is true but you have to remember it is the artist’s choice. The artist could portray the historical Jewish characters in the dress and customs of the artist’s contemporary times. Michelangelo’s David is not circumcised even though David surely was.

  2. Joseph Tamayo says:

    Another thing if you could educate me but A book I read suggests that Jesus and the Apostles would have used a round or oval table where they all would have sat around, which is what I believe, Not a long flat table with the Apostles sitting on either side of Jesus! Is that correct?

    • Tony says:


      Da Vinci’s painting gets most everything about the situation wrong. We don’t know what kind of table may have been used at the last supper. It’s most likely that those in attendance sat on cushions, with the food on a low table. Of course none of those details matter. The painting is an artist’s rendering of what he wanted to say, and has no real reflection on the information we get from the historical account found in the Bible. Spiritually speaking, da Vinci’s painting holds virtually no value at all.

      I’m curious, Joseph: why do you ask?

  3. Marianna says:

    Much thanks for the critic. My grandson, during religion, was asked to draw the last supper. He drew men seated on cushion at a low table and was promptly told he was incorrect as men sat at a table on chairs, He was asked to refer to The Last Supper paintings for accuracy. I had to restrain myself from criticizing the teacher. Seems that an eight year old knows best. I’ll be passing on your information.

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