Friday, September 23, 2011

the last supper

homage to da vinci and the renaissance

As is traditional for the classroom, a chalk drawing accompanies the curriculum. It was Labor Day weekend prior to the start of my seventh grade school year at Davis Waldorf School when I made up my mind to tackle Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper.

On average, I spend about three to four hours per chalk drawing. Here are three from my sixth grade year:

With The Last Supper, I knew it would take longer to complete. And to avoid the often painful act of erasing my chalk drawings every four weeks when the block is finished, I figured that The Last Supper would work for my first two blocks of the year - physiology and Renaissance history; thus, I can keep the drawing up for at least eight weeks! In physiology, I introduced the digestive system and the idea of the five core values of food: nutrition (f0r growth), combustion (energy), socialization (getting together), tradition (cultural), and inspiration (for art). The Last Supper, a meal shared by Jesus and his disciplies, is an example of how food inspires art. For Renaissance history, The Last Supper is the iconic painting by the great Renaissance painter Leonardo. It also is one of the best examples of perspective, which is an art technique that I will be teaching the students this year.

This chalk drawing, four feet by eight feet, has taken me nearly twelve hours thus far. The students would come into the classroom to find an unfinished drawing. Da Vinci was notorious for taking his time on his work, and sometimes kept them unfinished. I was afraid I would end up not completing my version of The Last Supper. Nearly three weeks since the first day of school, I am finished! From the print I was using, it was hard to distinguish what the food was on the table, so I omitted it except for the bread rolls and wine.

I hope it inspires the budding artists of my seventh grade.


Anonymous said...

very beautiful.

Basia said...


Lisa said...

Wow! You inspire this grown up! Thank you for sharing your journey and your gifts.

April's Homemaking said...

Your chalk drawings are stunning! How inspiring for your students!!