Friday, August 04, 2006

l'ultimo giorno

So I'll make this brief (not that other posts have been incredibly long). I awoke to a paradoxically cool day in milan, the one that is sunny with that cold undercurrent. In other words, blissful. I slept in, because I could for the first time in a long time. I went swimming because there was a pool, and i did yoga because it brings me back to earth and helps clear my head. I wandered around downtown and checked out a 'modern' art museum, housed in napoleon's villa, a wonderfully free sojourn (I am not even sure if I had to buy a ticket...)

The real reason I am back in Milan today was for the Last Supper. I called at the end of June and the first available spot was the last time slot on the day before I left. I waited in the piazza in front of the last supper pretending to read a book for an hour. I wondered what it would be like, how I would feel. Would I be disappointed because, like the museums I have seen lately, the smell would be rancid, the lights would be badly placed and there would be no information provided. I walked in, paid for my ticket, and when we were ushered in, the group of 6.30, we were herded into one room, then another, then another, being encouraged along by opening doors as doors behind us closed. We waited tensely in the last room, trying to peer through the glass. I was at the back of the pack so I couldn't see anything, and just waited for them all to go forward. And then I stepped in.

I got that full body shiver. The last supper fills a whole wall. I know I had read that it does, but you don't understand it until you see it. Bone-chilling. Lifelike. It feels like Jesus Christ is actually having his last supper right there before your eyes. It was wonderful to see someone paint not goldleafed triptychs, not a woodworked cross of a dying christ, but a real scene. Truly amazing, executed with skillful attractive geometry. A thrilling reflective end to my trip here in Italy.


Allen said...

yeah, my friends tried to show up on saturday and get in to see the last supper on sunday. I'm glad you got to see it. Keep up the blogging even in North America.

Anonymous said...

My two cents for future Italian sojour.
Robeto Longhi "Officina Ferrarese" (1934).

Buon Viaggio
A. (like Anonymous :-) )