The exhibition presents for the first time after its restoration the tapestry-copy of Leonardo’s Last Supper made between 1505 and 1510, as a result of a commision by Louise of Savoy and Francis Duke of Angouleme, later known as Francis I, king of France. The tapestry, preserved in the Vatican Museums, was possibly woven in Flanders after a cartoon by a Lombard artist (perhaps Bramantino); consequently it is considered one among the earliest copies of Leonardo’s masterpiece, conceived for the purposes of the French court. Together with the other few copies done in the early 16th century for French commissioners, the tapestry bearing the coat-of-arms of Louise of Savoy and Francis Duke of Angouleme exercised an important role in the diffusion and knowledge of Leonardo’s art in France. As a gift to Pope Clement VII, the tapestry returned to Italy in 1533 and it has never left the Vatican Museums since then. The exhibition will also display the portraits of the two commissioners of the Vatican tapestry (king Francis I and his mother Louise of Savoy) and two tapestries of the Months by Bramantino from the Trivulzio collection, which reveal a rethinking over the Last Supper, as well, in order to contextualize the tapestry-copy in the frame of the refined taste for luxury expressed by the French court, so as to allow some comparisons and new considerations concerning the possible attributions.
Location: Palazzo Reale
Date: October 7th – November 17th, 2019
Promoting Organisations: Comune di Milano, Direzione Cultura, Palazzo Reale
Scientific Directors anc Curator: Pietro Marani
Partner: Mondomostre – Skira