The Lamb’s Supper

4.1.1

Revelation 5:9
And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.”
Revelation 19:9
Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

The current location of this original illustration (conte crayon on 24″ x 96″ foam core) is not known. This terra cotta and walnut rendering of Leonardo DaVinci’s The Last Supper was commissioned in the late nineties. The piece would hang in an area occupied by a walnut dining table and several terra cotta pieces of art. The desired difference was that the customer wanted the characters to be “different races, genders and ages of people.” That is why it is entitled The Lamb’s Supper, because of how the book of Revelation describes the reconciliation of creation with its creator. Subject references were chosen for their social and cultural variety and if the position of their face matched one of the thirteen characters in the da Vinci painting.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, started around 1495. In da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper of Jesus, His disciples express reaction to His statement that one of them would betray Him.

From left to right, according to the apostles heads:
·   Bartholomew, James, son of Alphaeus and Andrew form a group of three, all are surprised.
·   Judas Iscariot, Peter and John form another group of three. Judas is . . . looking rather withdrawn and taken aback by the sudden revelation of his plan. (Some items are in the DaVinci piece but not in this derivative work.) He is clutching a small bag, perhaps signifying the silver given to him as payment to betray Jesus, or perhaps a reference to his role within the 12 disciples as treasurer. He is also tipping-over the salt shaker. This may be related to the near-Eastern expression to “betray the salt” meaning to betray one’s Master. He is the only person to have his elbow on the table and his head is also horizontally the lowest of anyone in the painting. Peter looks angry and is holding a knife pointed away from Christ, perhaps foreshadowing his violent reaction in Gethsemane during Jesus’ arrest. The youngest apostle, John, appears to swoon.
·   Jesus.
·   Apostle Thomas, James the Greater and Philip are the next group of three. Thomas is clearly upset; James the Greater looks stunned, with his arms in the air. Meanwhile, Philip appears to be requesting some explanation.
·   Matthew, Jude Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot are the final group of three. Both Jude Thaddeus and Matthew are turned toward Simon, perhaps to find out if he has any answer to their initial questions.”

Explanation of subject choices: After finding the scriptures cited above, and using the da Vinci design as a backbone for the composition, a variety of contemporary subjects were found for the faces of the twelve disciples. As stated earlier, subjects were chosen for their social and cultural variety and if the position of their face matched one of the thirteen characters in the da Vinci painting.
·   Bartholomew is a middle-aged German-Dutch man, James is a middle-aged man of African descent, and Andrew is a middle-aged Jewish man wearing glasses.
·   Judas Iscariot is a young Euro-Anglo male, Peter is a middle-aged Italian male, and John is a young Asian Woman. 
·   Jesus is British (from the cover of a business magazine). He was the president and CEO of Seagram’s Corporation at the time of illustration.
·   Apostle Thomas is a young boy, James the Greater is an elderly homeless man, and Philip is a teenage Persian male.
·   Matthew is an Hispanic male in his forties wearing glasses, Jude Thaddeus is a thirty year-old Frenchman, and Simon the Zealot is an elderly woman of Euro-Anglo descent

Artist’s Statement: People say, “I can’t draw a straight line. How do you do that?” My reply is that I can’t draw a straight line either. I just know what to erase. . .  Think about the lives we live on this planet. None of us lives perfectly, but with wisdom and conviction, we know what actions to not repeat, to ask for forgiveness for, what to erase.
There are no convicting details (money bag or spilled salt) accompanying Judas Iscariot in the illustration. 
These have been taken out.
There is a terra cotta sunrise added above Jesus head in the illustration, representing the dawn of redemption.

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