After Tintoretto, a Tapestry by Rubens at the Holy See Pavilion

October 31

Over 450,000 visitors have had the chance to admire the Last Supper by Tintoretto, exhibited until at the Holy See Pavilion. Many famous visitors have entered the Pavilion to contemplate it, from Vittorio Sgarbi to Oscar Farinetti, from Massimo Bottura to Agnese Renzi, wife of Italy's Prime Minister, who visited Expo Milano 2015 with her children on the last day the painting was displayed. During the night, between July 28 and 29, the canvas was returned to the Church of San Trovaso in Venice and replaced by the tapestry by Peter Paul Rubens called "The Institution of the Eucharist". Arriving from the Diocesan Museum of Ancona, where it shall be returned at the end of the Universal Exposition, the tapestry celebrating the first communion of the Apostles, with Jesus located at the center illuminating the scene while consecrating the bread, Peter on his right and John on his left.



Works with a similar theme but a very different charm and spirit. The painting by Tintoretto shows the human face of the Last Supper with the apostles who were drunk and the attention focused on the betrayal of Judas, that had just been announced, creates disorder and stir. The tapestry by Rubens shows that the eyes focus on the Eucharist, giving life to a more spiritual, mystical and ecstatic work of art in which the stare of Judas avoids Jesus and follows the viewer.

"The Institution of the Eucharist" dates back to the 1630s, a time when Rubens dealt with the subject of the Last Supper several times: the most famous oil on panel was made in 1632 and is kept at the Pinacoteca of Brera in Milan. The tapestry was found in the sacristy of the Church of the Santissimo Sacramento in Ancona in 1821. Damaged during the Second World War, it remained at the Central Institute for Restoration until 1984, when it was returned to Ancona for restoration at the Diocesan Museum laboratory.