Today we learn of a wonderful new work about the culinary aspects of Leonardo’s famous painting of the Last Supper by art historian John Varriano in the journal Gastronomica
At Supper with Leonardo points out an obvious foody opportunity gone awry:
Leonardo’s last supper is the most famous dinner party of all time. Yet for all its fame and familiarity, scant notice is ever taken of the food that is set before Christ and His disciples.
How could this be? I think I have the answer!
You see, many years ago I volunteered to help with the computers in a San Francisco art museum. I got to know lots of people who cared for and restored paintings. I went to lectures and seminars on restoration. I listened quite intently. It was a new and exciting world for me.
Then one day I heard a talk by a cantankerous gentleman who described how like vultures before roadkill restorers working with one of those very famous Mary and Jesus paintings took their tools right to the penis of baby Jesus and began to scrape away years of restoration and grime. It was their fixation. Their datum point.
“They always start with the sex organs,” the man lamented. Or maybe he wasn’t lamenting.
Anyway, since there isn’t nudity in Leonardo’s last supper, one supposes that the loss of this evidently important datum would throw restorers for a loop, so to speak.
So what did they find nestled provocatively in those ancient plates?
My favorite. A Sardinian favorite. Others may say “ick” or something. They are wrong.