View The Last Supper Very, Very Close Up

And you don’t even need to go to Milan to see it.
I’m not keen on going to ridiculous lengths to preserve things, especially now we can have such high definition images of the original work. Of course, its always better to see the original but let nature take its course I say and its not much fun being one of the 350,000 people per year who queue to pass through an almost air-tight box to have a quick look a badly damaged wall painting.


Not surprisingly, its takes a while to download even a small section at a time but its amazing, I zoomed up really close only to discover that was only 15%. At 100% you can’t tell what you’re looking at.

From the BBC

Last Supper gets 16bn pixel boost

A 16 billion pixel image of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper has been posted on the internet, giving art lovers a detailed view of the 15th Century work.

The image is 1,600 times more detailed than those taken with a typical 10 million pixel digital camera.

Experts will be able to see segments as though just centimetres away and examine otherwise unavailable details.

The posting comes amid claims a new system aimed at protecting the piece from Milan’s pollution is not working.

The work is displayed in the Italian city’s Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Peeled off

Art curator Alberto Artioli told Associated Press news agency the new resolution avoided the graininess when zooming in to regular photographs.

It is visible at

“You can see how Leonardo made the cups transparent, something you can’t ordinarily see,” he said. “You can also note the state of degradation the painting is in.”

That degradation has been the subject of controversy this week.

An Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, reported that a sophisticated monitoring and filtration system introduced during a restoration of the chapel in the late 1990s was not preventing particles or substances that could damage the work being brought in by visitors.

The Last Supper was painted by Leonardo da Vinci at the end of the 15th Century and, because of the experimental techniques he used, parts of the masterpiece subsequently peeled off and were badly damaged.

The BBC’s Frances Kennedy says the paper reported that equipment monitoring air quality inside the refectory showed that levels of fine particle pollution had tripled in the past two years.

It quoted experts suggesting these particles could settle on the work, eventually creating a dark misty layer.

However, Milan’s cultural commissioner said the threat was non-existent.

More than 350,000 people visit the painting each year.


  1. Aargh! Good to see technology and art working together but for God’s sake. This Leonardo cult-Make it stop! It’s not new but keeps throwing new audiences into thinking artworks are encrypted and that artists are not telling them something.

    with all best wishes

    Peter Kerrigan
    Grand Parakeet of the Knights Templar (Alt Valley Division)


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