[FISEA 1988] Paper: Lillian Schwartz – The Staging of Leonardo’s Last Supper


The question of perspective posed by Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper has been addressed by an analysis supported by a computer-aided multi-processor. A three-dimensional space was built within the computer to explore the notion that Leonardo used the ‘trickery of the theater in constructing the nontraditional perspective of this Fresco. In this investigation, the compositional elements were manipulated in the computer-created space, and the resulting images were projected into the plane of the Fresco. The analysis compared these projected images, as seen from various points in the Refectory, to the painted ones in Leonardo’s mural. The results clarify Leonardo’s use of an accelerated perspective in his construction of the staging of the Last Supper and locate the vantage points at the door and in the viewing plane of the monks, who sat along the side walls of the Refectory.

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  • Lillian Schwartz, USA, is best known for her pioneering work in the use of computers for what has since become known as computer-generated art and computer-aided art analysis, including graphics, film, video, animation, special effects, Virtual Reality and Multimedia. Her work was recognized for its aesthetic success and was the first in this medium to be acquired by The Museum of Modern Art.  lillian.com