Lisa Shea

The Hand and The Knife

Posted By: Lisa Shea

The Hand and The Knife - 10/23/04 02:58 PM

The whole reason my pages began was to show a picture of the Last Supper painting and to discuss the hand and the knife. That was all the site began with. So, let's go back to the beginning. What do you think the hand and knife really mean? It is really just a knife that a certain apostle "happens" to be holding, that "happens" to be by Judas, that "happens" to be in a very odd position?

I personally don't think so - I think that Leonardo spent over 2 years on this work of art and planned each detail very carefully ... it's not like he just tossed a random collection of characters quickly onto a wall ...
Posted By: Ru

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/24/04 10:57 AM

Is Judas holding that knife? I think both his hands are really visible on the table.
I'd say it's more like a symbolic way to suggest Judas is the one who would betray Jesus - a "third" hand with a knife, a knife hidden behind his back...

There are really a lot of 'weird' faces, gestures, characters in this painting - and yes, I agree, none of these just 'happen' to be there...
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/24/04 03:55 PM

Oh right it's not Judas holding the knife - Judas has like you said both of his hands on the table, and he is holding the bag with 30 silver pieces in one of the hands. But the knife is positioned immediately behind his back, so there's a lot of discussion about why that was done. So right, it can definitely be symbolic, that Judas is a "back stabber".

What do you think about the theory of a "hidden short dwarf guy" down next to the knife? smile
Posted By: Charles

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/27/04 07:52 AM

Hi

I am new to all of this, brought in by the Da Vinci Code

I can only count 11 disciples plus the woman in the picture.

Am I missing something?
Posted By: Charles

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/27/04 11:16 AM

Hi again,

I have now read many of your Da Vinci papers and of course I have found the answer myself.

Great site, very informative. I have recently bought The Holy Blood, The Holy Grail and will be reading it shortly
Posted By: jfredmuggs

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/28/04 03:17 AM

The hand and the knife seem deliberately out of place even at first glance. It would seem that Da Vinci could have certainly depicted that knife as being in Peter's hand had he wanted to. It would seem that, to an artist with obsessive detail to symmetry and detail, that the odd angle of the hand and knife would be intollerable for them unless it was intentional. Especially having four years to think it over.

But my first thought, before I knew I was supposed to be looking for the connection between the knife and Peter's arm, was that Peter's right hand was clearly resting on Judas' right shoulder. His hand on Judas' shoulder for support also seems the most natural position if you wanted to lean in to talk to someone two seats down, with the other hand on John/Mary's shoulder, especially amongst friends.
It's also not so obvious that the artist couldn't explain it away if they were forced to.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/28/04 01:41 PM

Charles - there are definitely a lot of pages now - to think it all grew from just one page about the hand and knife! People are very curious about the book and keep writing in with more questions smile

JFred - I suppose part of what we have to keep in mind here is that the "basis" for the row of people sitting and eating is off in the first place. That is, look at that painting and then rewind in time to a minute before Jesus speaks. They're all sitting and eating. How could they possibly even fit, the way they are laid out there? If Peter was NOT leaning over to talk to Mary, there's literally no place for him to have a plate in front of him there at the table smile

Never mind on the other side of the table, Thomas (the guy with his finger sticking up into the air) has no place to sit at all either.

So we do have to realize that this moment in history that Leonardo is showing is "staged". He put everyone on one side of the table, he had them in chairs instead of lounging on divans which would have been historically accurate. He did those things so he *could* put his people into very specific locations in relationship to each other, to help tell the story.

I agree that it seems Peter is friendly with Mary. Some people think he is threatening, but I don't get that sense at all. I get the sense that he wants to tell her something important and is trusting her with this news vs shouting it out to the table. She is listening calmly and trustingly.
Posted By: DaveyDo

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/02/04 09:09 PM

This discussion really puzzles me. The image of the knife doesn't seem at all out of place to me. The hand seems at a reasonable, if severe angle. Hold something similar in your right hand and place the back of your wrist on your hip - Voila.
The fact that Peter has a knife doesn't seem out of place at a dinner table - note that the plate in front of Peter appears to have something piled on it. There was supposed to be fish at this meal correct? It also seems perfectly reasonable that the meal would be served "family style" so having a single party with a knife to divvy up the fish seems perfectly plausible.

Does anyone know an online source for comments on the work from Da Vinci's contemporaries?
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/03/04 10:54 PM

Davey - yes, that posture is of course what Leonardo was using as his base. But he was a master of anatomy and if he WAS actually doing that just as a "casual pose" it would have been done far more realistically. It's an approximation of that pose but not a realistic one. So the question is a more theoretical one. If Leonardo was choosing to use that general pose but deliberately made it such an 'odd' angle - why? He worked on this piece for many years. He did everything for a very deliberate reason. It's not just "chance" that Peter has a knife - and that the knife is at an odd angle - and that it's behind Judas.

It's not just chance that Peter has a knife. In the story, Peter defends Judas later with a knife. Every object and person in this painting has meaning. Leonardo was an incredible intellectual who loved those sorts of things.

It's not like they ate one gigantic fish smile They all had their own utensils. It isn't unleavened bread either. The bread is most definitely fluffy. I talk about these things on the site but the meal is NOT the passover meal. That is another deliberate choice made by Leonardo.

I can't find any contemporary reports at all on the web but I know he was incredibly well respected at this point - he wasn't an unknown. He was quite the celebrity in his world smile
Posted By: roisindubh211

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/05/04 02:15 PM

I've just finished Angels and Demons- Dan Brown seems to have quite an obsession with the Freemasons and societies within societies. . . paranoid conspiracy theorist, anyone?
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/05/04 08:34 PM

LOL I think they're easy to write about because most people know they're secret but not what the secrets are. So it's easy to say "well what if their secret was THIS!!!" and have people wonder smile
Posted By: Japan Dan

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/06/04 08:21 PM

Lisa - good comment about the reason Peter might be holding the knife - remember, according the scriptures, later that evening Peter would use such a knife in a violent way. Leonardo would seem more likely to be foreshadowing that event.
Posted By: danted7

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/06/04 09:03 PM

On a high resolution picture it kinda looks like Peter is grasping "the arm with the knife" by the wrist,as if to hold it down.
Posted By: satya

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/06/04 09:32 PM

Frankly, the hand and the knife do not seem to be the issue at all! The fact that the person on the right could be a woman (MaryM as claimed by DB in dVC) is more startling. I do not know if this was previously documented (if at all this is true) and what in the name of heaven is a woman doing there? Now do we need to believe what DB said now or waht was said in HBHG to be true???
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/07/04 03:22 AM

Japan Dan - Definitely the scriptures reason seems to be the reason the knife is there in Peter's hand in the first place. Remember, Leonardo could have put ANY apostle in that location if his only aim was to have a knife in someone's hand. He chose Peter for a particular reason that people would have understood. Back in those times, the common population was far more familiar with the Bible than we are nowadays. It was their entire lives, it was their literature.

There are many layers of meaning in the painting - from some which are 'immediately obvious' to even the most typical viewer (of the time) to other meanings which are more hidden. So the obvious meaning would have been Peter's place in history - but the more subtle meaning is why the knife is aimed and pointed the way it is ...
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/07/04 03:25 AM

Danted7 - yes exactly! For those who don't know what he's looking at - look here -

http://milano.arounder.com/PROJECTS/SANTA_MARIA_DELLE_GRAZIE/

that is a very high resolution image of the painting. When you look at Peter's hand, it literally looks like it is coming in at a 90 degree (right) angle to the knife. Yes it is *conceivable* that a hand could hold a knife that way, but it is poor anatomy for a painting. Leonardo was a master of anatomy. It really looks like Peter is instead holding someone's hand that is trying to wield a knife and that Peter is *holding back* that hand.

Again this is the difference between first glance meaning and more intense evaluation. The first glance says "Peter holds a knife, just like the scriptures say". The more intense evaluation says "wait a minute, Peter is actually preventing an attack ..."
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/07/04 03:27 AM

Satya - the Mary issue is an important one, I'll start a new thread to talk about that one smile I have several pages on the site that explicitly talk about that issue.
Posted By: DaveyDo

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/09/04 08:04 PM

I suspect it was painted in such a way to hint at a number of meanings. Wouldn't it be funny though, if Leonardo specifically thought "How can I do this in such a way that the most people will spend the most time speculating on the meaning?"
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/13/04 05:24 AM

He definitely was a very intelligent man who was already quite famous by the time he did this painting. So he definitely had a lot of meaning put into each painting and loved the attention they brought smile
Posted By: maribus

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/16/04 06:52 AM

What I see in the anonymous painting is that Peter is grabbing a hand (pretty tightly indeed). The mysterious hand has a knife. Peter's hand is darker than the strange hand. What is your opinion?
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/16/04 08:46 PM

Other people have talked about that as well, that Peter is trying to stop something dangerous from happening and that the danger "comes from Judas" even as Judas tries to put on an innocent front.
Posted By: diddly

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/26/04 01:52 PM

the hand and knife. i think the opinion of the hidden apostle, the "short one pushed over by peter" is very far fetched. i dont think this person would have much function at the table, as he does NOT hold the knife. it is either held by peter,(which is plausible, if you look closely, you can see a colur difference on his robe, completing the hand TO his wrist, making it his hand that holds the knife.) or by a hand coming form nowhere, as suggested in the da vinci code. Given that this hidden charcter has no function, i dont think Leonardo could have stood this lack of sense of space, he owuld not have made the sacrifice for something that (to my knowledge) doesnt have a function. this person would have to take up the space that peter is ovbiously occupying.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/26/04 07:43 PM

Diddly - actually if we're going to start worrying about who takes up what space in a realistic, actual people sitting at a table function, then we are all doomed smile Look at that picture with a logical, critical eye. Is there really room for all of those people to sit down at that table, on their own chair, and eat a meal side by side? smile

So a lot of that scene is most definitely symbolic and not "functional".
Posted By: diddly

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/26/04 08:05 PM

fair enough. as a student of art hisory, its drummed into us to look at sense of space, etc etc so thats the first thing i noticed:) its not stressed to see the message of paintings, which i think is a bit stupid, as this is the basis of most art in the first place. just trying to make sense of it all:) i guess the only way we'll ever ever know whose the hand is, or who its pointing at, etc is if we speak to da vinci himself. which ... if you try hard enough... *cough* anyway. i really enjoyed the site, i found it this morning while on *sick* from school *another cough* and instead of the revision i desperately need to do, i spent HOURS poring over the site. it made me quite happy:)
Posted By: sly

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/27/04 12:38 AM

Interesting forum-

The first thing that leaps at me is the relationship between Judas' left and Jesus' right hand - both seem to be reaching for something, perhaps the same thing......
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/27/04 07:44 AM

Diddly - I'm really glad you enjoyed the site! It started as just one page, and then people kept writing in with comments so I kept adding more pages to hold their comments. So it's really a cooperative effort between hundreds of readers smile

Wouldn't it be nice if artists left long, detailed descriptions of what they were thinking when they painted something? smile What we need is a time machine. How hard can it be to build a time machine??
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/27/04 07:50 AM

Sly - welcome! Actually his right hand is holding something - it's holding the bag with 30 pieces of silver in it. In the "real" timeline he wouldn't have been paid that yet, but Leonardo was making sure we knew this was Judas. Judas is drawing away from Jesus and holding that silver close to him, as if to hide it.

The other hand seems to be reaching out for the plate in front of him, which is silver. Maybe he wants to steal that too smile
Posted By: Rhea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/27/04 10:35 PM

Surely both the hand of Judas and the hand of Jesus are both reaching to dip their hands in the dish:
Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
--Matthew 26

Also, what does the writing mean on the red arches above the table? If you follow Thomas' finger upwards he appears to be pointing straight at the letters and Mary is sitting underneath another set on the other side of the table. They are probably just dates, but I was intrigued as I don't speak Latin.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/28/04 01:53 AM

Ah, Rhea, you may be quite right about the left hand! That would explain what that hand was doing. The right hand is most definitely holding a bag of silver, that's pretty much agreed on by art historians.

I'm zooming in on a super high quality version of the painting and I don't see ANY letters in the painting. Behind the group are three windows that are rectangular - and above the center window is an arch. The finger actually points up between the center and right window, so it points up next to the arch, not to the arch itself. But the arch has no letters at all ...?
Posted By: diddly

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/28/04 01:46 PM

i think reah means the letters on each side of the wreath thing in the centre arch. mary m is almost definitely under the left-hand letters, but thomas isnt as directly under the right-hand ones....
Posted By: Monsta Dom

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/28/04 04:48 PM

hey - this is really interesting - hi everyone! I see the letters around the wreaths - some kind of family code of arms for a commissioned piece, maybe? The more you look at this painting, the more odd it seems...what is the thing on the far right hand side of the picture - it looks like a burglar alarm sensor...! Also, despite talk of LDV being good at anatomy - Peter's left hand (under Mary's (?) chin) is at a bizarre angle whereas if his right hand is holding the wrist of the disembodied hand, then why is it so much darker than his other hand? Finally, sorry to be a moron, but apart from Jesus, Peter, Judas, Thomas and Mary(?) - who is who in this picture?
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/28/04 07:14 PM

OH!!! Those aren't really part of the painting, those are in the "lunettes" over the painting. They are tributes to Leonardo's patron duke. The central one is for Duke Lodovico Sforza and his wife Beatrice d'Este. The one on the left is for the first born son, Massimiliano. The one on the right is for the second son, Francesco.

So that's sort of like a painting being sponsored by Microsoft, and having Microsoft logos on the programs and entryways for the painting's room smile
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/28/04 07:15 PM

I have a page that lists who is in the picture here -

http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/names.html
Posted By: mlr1960

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/29/04 02:48 AM

Not sure where to post this, but on the lighting,, if you look at the painting as a whole, the light is coming from the corner on the left and it goes up and across to the right. The wall on the left is darker and right is lighter.
Also when I went to the site where you can scan in and out, did anyone notice the fleur d lis painted on the right in the area above the last disciple?
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/29/04 06:52 AM

I have a page on the lighting here -

http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/daytime.html

and yes if you look at the table legs, there is a "source of light" in the lower left casting shadows.

If you mean the zooming page I link to here -

http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/lastsupper.html

I don't see the fleur de lis? You mean in the brown rectangle behind his head, right?
Posted By: mlr1960

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/29/04 11:37 PM

Yes, but of course my son says it is like seeing something in the clouds :-) It appears to me to be a fleur de lis, but maybe I just want to see it there?
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/30/04 05:16 AM

I sort of see it in the mini version of the posters but not in the zoomed in version. I think that's an artifacting issue with the way the graphic is squished and not a real part of the final image. I suppose you would have to go see it in person and see if you had the same impression in real life!
Posted By: baggyg

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/30/04 11:36 AM

I have not found anyone who has asked this question and it may seem like an obvious one. Is it possible the knife is actually being held by the Mary / John character? Although the arm seems disproportionatily far from Mary the angle in which she is leaning towards Peter may suggest she is actually being pulled by the wrist (also explaining some views that Peter is holding the hand at the wrist level). I'm not sure how this would play symbolically. Could it be possible to suggest (following from Dan's assumption that Peter is aggresive towards Mary) that upon being threatened Mary had grabbed the knife?
Posted By: baggyg

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/30/04 11:38 AM

Further in the re-painted Last Supper, the artist has placed Mary's hand in front of Judas. But I can see no evidence of this in Da Vinci's.
Posted By: RonHam1

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/30/04 03:36 PM

First to Lisa...great website, must be a huge amount of work.

To Monsta Dom;
There is no disembodied hand. If you zoom the photo with a good editor you will see that the blue coloured cuff on the *disembodied hand* is the same as the blue colour on the cuff of James Minor's other hand...being held upright directly to the right of Andrew's upright right hand.

At our computer class we took a group of people and set them up in the same position as this *disembodied hand* section of the Last Supper. It took a little adjustment but it was easy to place the body parts in the same position. Then we took some photos with a digital camera and put them on the computer screen along with the real paintings from Lisa's site.

The only section that gave us trouble was the hand with the knife. The class could not agree on the position of the hand or the reason the hand is at such an awkward angle. (If the threat was to Judas why is the tip of the knife pointing away from him?) The problem is that, if this is Peter, the little finger appears to be on the wrong side of the hand. Try it at home and see.

Why would you call the *disembodied hand* position bizarre?

Don't forget...this is not reality, it is one man's interpretation of something he actually never saw.

Respectfully;
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/30/04 11:43 PM

BaggyG - I had in fact made that same point somewhere in my site - that if that hand lined up with *anybody* it would be with Mary having a super long arm. But if you look at the painting again -

http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/handknife.html

Mary clearly has both arms clasped in front of her. So it isn't her hand.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/30/04 11:49 PM

RonHam - one of the issues is that we are all looking at graphic representations of an image that has since been painted over, so we can't actually go to the room and even look at Leonardo's original work any more if we could afford the plane fare. So that is a real shame. We can only go either by representations others have made before the repainting, or "assume" the repainting was done properly if we go visit the work in person.

That all being said, Leonardo was a master of anatomy. That was what earned him the high praise while he was alive. He did study after study of how the human body worked. His paintings were renowned for their accurate anatomy. So when you see something that is "odd" body-wise in a painting of his, you stop and ask yourself why he did it.

This wasn't a casual painting he tossed together. It was a serious study that took him four years - and people were screaming at him to finish it. So he deliberately took that time to get it the way he wanted. That hand was not just a "happen to be there" situation. He very seriously chose to put that hand in that exact spot, in that pose, with that knife. He deliberately chose to have Andrew's hands up in the air right behind the knife. He deliberately chose to have the knife coming from Judas. Given the huge number of other tiny symbols he poured into his work, I really don't think all of those things are just an accident. Also, the hand is very dark, as is Judas. In those days dark = bad and light = good. Peter in general is very light (his face and other hand). Again that was not just chance, that was a deliberate choice.
Posted By: Pi

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/02/04 08:39 PM

I happen to agree with Lisa very much. I'm in classical archaeology and one of the first things we learn is that if something appears to be odd first determine if it's done on purpose or not. If it's done on purpose, then there is clearly a message behind the image. Since Leonardo Da Vinci was known for his anatomy, most art historians would believe that there is something Leonardo is trying to tell everyone.

Great Site by the way
Posted By: nycaimee

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/03/04 06:11 PM

Hi everyone--I checked out the high resolution image of the painting that was mentioned on the site, and it seems pretty clear to me that the "hand" belongs to Peter (third on Jesus' right but leaning toward person first on Jesus' right). First, the hand is dressed in the same color outfit as Peter. Second, it appears Peter's left hand is making the blade-like motion toward Mary Magdelene (person sitting on Jesus' immediate right) and that his right hand is holding the dagger, which he is kind of hiding down low and away from whomever he may ultimately threaten it with. It seems like an awkward angle, but the fingers line up and if he were to outstretch this right hand with the dagger in front of him, he would be holding it in the position that one would hold a small knife in order to slit another's neck (with the point closest to the thumb), rather than holding it the opposite way (with the point closest to the pinkie), which is how one would hold a knife if they were going to stab someone ala Hitchcock's "Psyco". (Try it yourself--I am sitting at my desk with a pencil, holding it in the same position--it is totally consistent with his raising his right arm, flipping his hand with the knife up and running it across Mary's neck toward him (the same way anyone would slice another's neck). Also, I might add, that in the book, Brown mentions that if you count the hands, there is one extra. I don't see it. If the "hand" is not Peter's, well, I have trouble seeing his second (right) hand. Check out the high resolution image and zoom in--it's pretty clear it's Peter's right hand. (Sorry if I am repeating someone else's similar thoughts--I didn't read all the posts.)
Posted By: Merovingius

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/03/04 09:54 PM

Hello everybody!
I am an Italian who finished yesterday the Da Vinci Code. I searched the net to find everything the book said about The Last Supper and Madonna of the Rocks, so finding this site was really great for me.

One thing I did not find here: where is the M ?
I mean, in the book, Dan Brown says that Jesus and Mary form a V in the painting, so they are the symbol of the chalice, of the feminine etc. etc.
Then, if I remember well through the character Sophie, Brown adds that actually they form an "M", and Sophie insists that, after noticing it, she can see only this "M", which stands for Mary M. of course. Well, while I clearly see the "V", I really cannot see this "M": can anybody help ?

Thanks smile
Posted By: Katarzyna

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/04/04 01:18 AM

Hello! Another newbie, here after reading Da Vinci Code. Great site!

I agree with Lisa's assessment of the knife in the hand... it "belongs" to Peter, but is in its particular position for symbolic reasons. I would never have come up with the idea that it was coming from Judas, but that's an excellent observation. I also think it's symbolic in the way Judas's bag of silver is... it's alluding to something that happens in the future.

A few odd ideas: It could symbolize a sort of twisted masculinity. Perhaps that's just a result of all the "sacred feminine" DaVinci Code babbling, but when I see "blade" I think of... well... manhood. The twisted wrist holding it might allude to something.

Also, is it possible that "Andrew" is being threatened in some way. And by "Andrew", I don't mean the disciple Andrew. I understand that Da Vinci used the faces of his patrons, or friends, in his paintings. The knife might mean a threat to whomever he used for Andrew's face.

To change the topic slightly, I've been checking out the high-resolution copy of The Last Supper, and noticed something I haven't seen mentioned here. When I look at the full-scale pic, I see a cup-like thing on the wall, right over Bartholomew's head. When I zoom in, it doesn't look like a cup anymore... it's just an architectural insert-thingee. But I wonder, could Da Vinci have put that there on purpose? Placed an image that looked like The Grail from far away?

ETA, just wanted to agree with Merovingius... I see the V, but not the M.
Posted By: nycaimee

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/06/04 04:25 PM

Hi Merovingius:
I think the "M" is just an extention of the "V: you see--meaning the "V" that is clearly visible in the near-center of the painting is also the middle part of the "M" that is also present. (So instead of just looking at the space between Jesus and Mary, include the shapes of their bodies as well to form the "M" shape--i.e., Mary and Jesus each form an upside-down "V" shape--which essentially, is what an "M" is comprised of--two upside down "V's".) That's how I understood it anyway.
Posted By: baggyg

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/07/04 11:59 AM

Just looking at the picture. I don't want to take the romance out of this painting or demean Da Vinci's work.

But

Is it possible that considering Da Vinci wanted Peter to have a knife (in the same way judas has silver) that condidering Peters position it was the only way he could draw the hand. If it were the other way (i.e. facing Judas) this would symbolise a threat to Judas, which wouldn't play correctly with the story. The way the hand is drawn would suggest it was not aimed at anyone and passive (suggesting it is to be used later?)

I am aware Da Vinci took a long time to paint this work and therefore has time to Meticulously plan but he was also under pressure for what should be in the painting.

Sorry to demystify this issue but is there any other way you can suggest that it would be painted?
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/09/04 08:28 AM

nycaimee - Brown's claim is that that hand is the extra one. Remember on the zoomy painting that you are looking at the repainted version where the artist made that connection much more obvious. If you look back at the original painting images, the hand is much less "well connected" smile

Merovingius - If you see the V, that is the center of the M. The V are the middle two "lines" of the M.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/09/04 08:31 AM

Katarzyna - someone else saw that too but it appears to be an 'artifact' of the graphic compression, and not something actually on the painting itself.

Baggyg - it comes back to Da Vinci being a master of anatomy and being brilliant with body parts. He could easily have put that hand in many different spots so that it seemed perfectly natural. Instead he chose to put it somewhere that is quite UNnatural so we have to ask ourselves, why did he bother to do that? He's the one who put Peter into that position, on purpose, and with the knife. He could have had the knife in a belt at his waist if the intention was just to have "man with knife" ...
Posted By: mzc2m

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/09/04 06:19 PM

If you look at da Vinci's sketches from his notebooks there is a sketch for the hand holding the knife and it is definetly Peter's hand.
Posted By: stuart

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/10/04 01:20 AM

Hi everyone smile

I have no doubt at all that in Leonardo's painting - that IS a woman to the right of Jesus, specially in close up.. it's too obviously female features.
As for the knife - On the page where the images are enlarged -the second image there, it looks more like a stick / staff / walking stick type of thing.. does not resemble a knife at all. however the hand holding it is definetely not attached to either of the closest on either side, it's an out of place hand - I look forward to reading more ~ this is an excellent site you'v created here! smile
Ps.. we also need to bear in mind this is Leonardo's version of what the event may have looked like - it can be easy to look at the painting and forget it's not the actual event and not painted at the time.
Posted By: stuart

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/10/04 04:44 AM

followup...
and sumore.... smile
Hmmm~~ well - the short man between Peter and Andrew... I don't think so- not that I can't see it ( the "visitors submission" and highlighted image outline) I suspect getting too close you might see a lot of things unintended - stepping back to view the painting as a whole - this area looks much clearer to be Peter's right arm - and possible holding a bag against his side - the "knife" again still looking to me like a wooden stick? and Andrew "putting up his arms in shock" - it looks much calmer than that to me - more like he's indicating by his upraised hands for "quiet.. wait... I want to hear this" or something similar.
Posted By: Steve Bonesz

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/10/04 04:56 PM

I think the hand with the knife is definately Peter's. It's twisted back as one would if his hand was on his hip leaning forward the way he is. Why Da Vinci chose to show it threatening Andrew I don't know. The bigger question to me is what Peter is wispering in Mary's ear?

By the way, I'm positive that this is Mary and not John in the painting. Notice the way Mary's hands are folded and outsretched across her middle the way a pregnant woman would cradle her stomach?

Also, Why are the plates in front of the disciples mostly empty? Probably because they have just sat down. Jesus is just now explaining that he will be betrayed. But, why are the two serving platters to his left and right heaped with food, but the one in front of Christ is empty? It looks to me as if Christ is looking down and waving his left hand across the empty plates as if to make a statement here.

One more thought. Is Judas really holding a bag of silver? He should not have the silver yet. Da Vinci would have known this. He's gripping it as one would a dagger. Could what we see be the hilt of a dagger?
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/10/04 06:25 PM

mzc2m - we talk about that a lot, that yes it is associated with Peter because if Leonardo put a "floating hand" in the painting he would have been told to fix it. But the question is what does it symbolize, it is a very deliberate, odd position.

stuart - that's a good point, that Andrew doesn't look horrorstricken or really panicked. It's more a surprised look ...
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/10/04 06:29 PM

Steve - that's a good point, just what is Peter choosing to say to *Mary* at this point, instead of saying something to Jesus? Let's imagine we're in a room with fellow students and our favorite teacher. Our teacher stands up and says "one of you will kill me". Why would you immediately turn to whisper something to another student?

The food placement is odd, but remember, part of what Jesus says is something along the lines of "the betrayer will share my dish with me" or "wash hands in my dish with me" so that is why I think he's indicating the dish.

Yes in the timeline Judas wouldn't have had the silver yet, but that is one of the traditional "symbols of Judas". It's like showing him as dark and others as light, it's just a traditional identification symbol. In fact most painters would put Judas on one side of the table and the rest on the other to make it even more obvious - so Leonardo broke with tradition to have Judas on the same side of the table. As I recall it generated a lot of comment at the time for him to do that.
Posted By: diddly

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/10/04 07:07 PM

wouldnt the peter whispering to mary be him threatening her? he is concealing the dagger behind his back, and holding his hand across her throat in a menacing manner. would it be fair to say that he is threatening mary from becoming the leader of the Church by holding his hand to her, and the dagger behing his back to slice the ear of the soldier, as he wants jesus to be the one and only true leader of the church? just a thought...
Posted By: dwnh35

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/11/04 12:57 AM

Hi. Great site. It looks as though Peter is indeed grasping the hand holding the knife. The hand is that of John, who, upon hearing of the impending betrayal, attempts to kill Judas, the would-be betrayor. He is foiled by Peter, who, while holding down the knife-wielding hand, also whispers into its owner's ear, warning him not to proceed. But isn't that also Mary? Yes it is. I believe we see two people in one, which is more symbolic than physically possible. Leonardo attempts to show Mary, hands clasped, in the traditional position of spouse. But the same leaning figure is the only one in the painting able to clasp the knife in the manner shown. Physically impossible, but symbolically logical.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/11/04 01:13 AM

Diddly - the Peter-threatening-Mary thought is one we've tossed around, but if you look at Mary she is VERY peaceful and calm. In fact everyone else at the table is agitated in some manner but her. So I really don't think she's being threatened or yelled at. It's more that she's calmly and actually contentedly hearing some news. She is the only one that is content and maybe it has to do with what she's hearing.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/11/04 01:30 AM

dwnh35 - that's a very intriguing possibility and one that solves the "if this is Mary, where is the other apostle" question. If we do assume that the one figure "represents" both individuals then it's also reasonable to say that the character can have hands clasped in front of her and that there is also the 'stretched' hand symbolically representing John's actions.

But the knife isn't aiming to kill Judas - if anything it "comes from him". So maybe John is trying to warn people "look, Judas is dangerous!"
Posted By: stuart

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/11/04 05:47 AM

:D :D :D :D (Leonardo drops in on this discussion) dear friends I must humbly apologize for all the time you have spent analysing this portion of my painting, the theories you have all brought up has somewhat amused me I have to say, :) unfortunately my confession may dismay many of you ~ as you know I took 4 years to complete this work - like a gardener tending his plants... some thrive, some do not and have to be replaced, or moved for the envisioned final product to be realised ~ occasionally an item might be overlooked.... a knife is a useful implement at a meal.... the person holding it however had to be painted over and moved, realigned to another location for symmetry and my personal taste, only now when I was drawn back to discover your intense interest, do I realise to my own surprise and !amazement! ~ I omitted to remove the original hand, …….. Aaahh well... we all make mistakes. :D :D :D
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/11/04 08:44 AM

LOL that's a new theory smile smile
Posted By: dwnh35

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/11/04 01:33 PM

Lisa - True the knife is not aimed at Judas. But remember the hand is being restrained by Peter, which would explain why the hand and knife are at the angle depicted. Assuming we follow this line of thought, what does this tell us about John and Jesus' relationship, and how does Peter fit in? We know that Jesus has just made the announcement of a betrayal. John knows immediately it is Judas and tries to kill hime. He is restrained by Peter, who also warns John. Later, Peter uses a knife (Possibly the same one he takes from John) to protect Judas. How does this play out, and is it logical?
Posted By: diddly

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/12/04 01:38 AM

what! protect judas? why?? i thought, as the story goes, peter protects jesus by clicing the ear of the soldier as jesus is taken away?
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/13/04 09:49 AM

Right, Peter protects Jesus with that knife smile He definitely doesn't protect Judas ...

I might go with the "John is trying to indicate the danger" theory but not with the "John is trying to kill Judas". The knife is coming from Judas, not into him.
Posted By: maisi

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/14/04 09:58 AM

I must admit that I don't have much insight in Leonardo's paintings or his life and beliefs. I just finished reading "the Da Vinci Code" and that is why I have found this site. Either way I found the painting and this discussion interesting and I think I have something to add. So where do I think the knife is coming from? My guess is that it’s coming from Mary! Anatomically this makes sense. The angle and the distance fit. You might object that it’s to far from her but I found a clue that I think backs up my claim. There is one other stretched out arm in the picture. This is the arm of the 3. disciple from the right. Now, if you measure the length of this arm you will found it’s exactly the same length as from Mary to the knife-hand. When this idea first came to me I was looking at a picture where it was difficult to see that Mary actually have two hands innocently resting on the table. That of course speaks against what I'm saying but then you have to look at this idea keeping in mind that Mary is also John so why wouldn't there be more than two hands? So what is the knife doing? It’s protecting Judas, someone got his back. Mary got his back. And anyone trying to stop Judas will get killed themselves. Look at the picture and you will find that Judas seems not too know, at all, what is going on behind him not even noticing Mary talking to Peter. His focus is completely on Jesus and in a way he seems alone, like he doesn't even know that he's a part of greater scheme (he doesn’t know that someone has his back, he doesn’t know what’s going on). What he sees is a Mary with both hands on the table he sees Jesus and he sees the upset crowd of disciples on the other side of Jesus). The knife is pointing at a disciple and his reaction is clearly not that of a “o my good maybe I will kill Jesus” it’s that of a person that is being pacified. It’s a hand “hands up or I’ll shoot!” or “hands of the table mister!” :-) Peter is talking to Mary trying to calm her down. Anybody who has been in a street brawl no this scenario; A guy is about to beat up some other guys and a person close to them, maybe a friend, is trying to calm him down and talk him out of it, while the victim of the rage will hide behind the their protector. Jesus says that one of them will be his killer, but who is the real killer when you hire a hit man? The hit man or the man who hired the hit man. Isn’t there still just one killer being the man who planned the killing after all a hit man is just a tool. Was it really Mary Magdalena who killed Jesus!? Let the conspiracies continue ;)
Posted By: Jesus XLII

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/15/04 01:55 AM

The lone hand with the knife is actually Judas, who is not actually there since he has already left. There should be 12 others still at the table no particular order (1) Simon Magus (2) Theudas (3) Jonathan Annas (4) Matthew Annas (5) Thomas Herod (6) John of Zebedee (7) James of Zebedee (8) John Mark (9) Andrew (10) Philip (11) Peter (12) Jesus
Posted By: diddly

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/15/04 07:30 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Jesus XLII:
The lone hand with the knife is actually Judas, who is not actually there since he has already left.
? the person who it has already been agreed is judas is clearly clutching a bag, which it's fair to assume is silver. it only makes sense that this person should be judas, as he is a key factor in this moment and the bag of silver is clear identification.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/20/04 03:26 AM

Right, we definitely know that Jesus is Jesus and Judas is Judas smile There isn't any question about those two. But a lot of this painting is allegorical so there can of course be other meanings hidden in here smile

It's a very good question why Andrew has his hands up like that, looking at Judas. He's not doing a "Yikes, this guy is a threat to Jesus!" move. It's a "Hey, don't hurt me!" move.

Which if you think about it, is what ended up happening. Judas' supporters all ran off and deserted him, leaving him to face his charges alone pretty much. So maybe this is indicating that Andrew (and others) were about to look out for themselves.
Posted By: Jessica

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/21/04 05:59 AM

Hi. I am new and I have just finished The Da Vinci Code. I have to agree with some of you in that I don't fully believe that the "mysterious hand" is Peter's at all. I also believe that it is Peter that is trying to restrain the "hand". Even though Da Vinci knew what he was doing when it came to anatomy, try and think like him for a moment. Da Vinci loved to be intriguing and wouldn't it be just like his character to place this hand in the painting to throw in his own controversies? Of course, none of us really know what it is like to be in the mind of the great Da Vinci, but certainly we can try. As for the Mary M. issue- I fully believe that it is her there and that she was Jesus' wife. He was human; a great human being, but mortal nonetheless.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/24/04 05:48 PM

As a total newcomer to all this and having read the Da Vinci Code I feel intrigued enough to dig a little deeper and see where the line (fuzzy tho it is) between truth and fiction really is.

Looking at the hi-res pic that we all seem to be examining, the following strike me as clear cut:
1 - The figure on Jesus' right (our left) is definitely female
2 - Peter is clearly restraining the hand holding the knife, and not holding it himself

Its interesting to see how the restoration made the figure of John/Mary more feminine, presumably closer to the original painting:
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/504271_john.html

I think that the distance to the hand makes it plausible that it is Mary's (albeit a third hand!) - if Peter if pulling her towards him and her arm is fully extended. It would make her fairly long limbed and presumably tall though. I didn't immediately see the clasped hands in front of her, that is what made me do a double take.

Fascinating stuff!
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/25/04 07:35 AM

Right, the clasped hands are really hard unless you zoom in. They sort of merge into one arm/hand. And maybe that's on purpose - maybe Leonardo was hoping that on first glance you'd see Mary sitting with one hand in front of her and the other stretching behind Judas. If that was the case, then why?
Posted By: MarkDaVinci

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/25/04 12:26 PM

I'm totally new to all this - just started doubting some of the facts (I had forgiven the Smart car mileage!).. so thought I'd do a bit of research.

About the knife; how does this sound:
1) there's no doubt that it's a knife
2) it's hard to swallow any suggestion that it is ANY kind of mistake
3) There are no cheap tricks; hidden disciples, missing or extra body parts.
4) The hand is unarguably a *right* hand and *does* belong to Peter - it *cannot* belong to anyone else (see cheap tricks). As Lisa points out, the position is unarguably possible - it's just a little *unnatural* - just like a baton change in a relay.
5) Another writer above studied the painting carefully - and I agree: the hand is mishappen. Mishappen but not a mistake!! Leonardo was, as mentioned countless times, a master of anatomy. The only and obvious conclusion therefore is that Leonardo *deliberatley* painted a deformed/disfigured hand/wrist!

Symbolism (really getting into it here, aren't I?): Peter was the "rock", Jesus' *right* hand upon whom he "founded" his "church". ie: Peter is the symbol of the Catholic Church (of the day): Jesus' right hand - but *deformed* (from it's original intent?) - and *armed*, and *ready* (knife in a horizontal stabbing position) to commit violence - and use force - against those who would not be "peaceful" (as Jesus' preached - amongst other things) - or otherwise disagree with *Peter's* notions...

I think it's fairly common knowledge that Leonardo was no fan of the Church - so it's hardly surprising that he'd make such a statement - and the only price that he had to pay to bite the hand that fed him was to accept criticism of his anatomical rendering skill.


In a nutshell, I think that Leonardo is having a good solid dig at the Catholic Church: "You are a disfigured/deformed representation of Jesus' teachings and you use very un-Christ-like force to maintain your position. (Just as Peter did from the word "go".)"

That's my 2 bob's worth!

Cheers,
Mark.
Posted By: nett

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/25/04 11:23 PM

When I look at the painting and clearly see the hand holding the knife, to me it looks as though there is another hand violently grabbing the hand with the knife and twisting the hand away from Jesus. The hand holding the knife looks to me as though it belongs to Mary/John and the hand wrestling the hand away belongs to Peter. Perhaps Mary/John is trying to stab the person at the front - could this in fact be Judas? and this would explain why everyones face is looking quite horrified on the left of the painting. Also, what is the demonic figure almost sitting on the shoulder of the fellow on the far left of the painting? One other thing, it has always interested me that no-one would sit at a table in this way, with everyone on one side of the table - wouldn't you all gather around the table, so that everyone could be more closely involved?
Posted By: nett

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/25/04 11:25 PM

Sorry, one other thing - the hands clasped together in front of Mary/John look as though they have been painted in afterwards and are much to large and masculine to fit the figure of Mary/John, and are also much larger and thicker looking than any other hands in the painting, which obviously do belong to males.
Posted By: nett

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/25/04 11:34 PM

Another thought that I had was that the figure to the left of Jesus is in fact Mary, and that Judas is missing (has already left), which would indicate 11 disciples, Mary and Jesus (Judas being the 12th disciple). Perhaps Mary (clasping the knife) is miserably depressed about the fact that she will soon lose Jesus (her face does not show anger, but more depression and despondancy) and has picked up the knife to injure herself, and Peter is grabbing the knife (his hand is on top of the knife clasping hand) trying to stop her from injuring herself??? Everyone on that side of the table is definitely looking a bit shocked, with hands holding up in an obvious "stop" motion, and the 2nd figure from the left looking as though they are exclaiming horrified surprise at what is happening to his/herleft (this figure also looks quite feminine to me!)
Posted By: nett

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/26/04 12:03 AM

One other thing that I noticed was that the person 2nd from the right hand side of the painting definitely does look a lot like Leonardo's self portrait (a bit like Hitchcock always being in his movies) and it appears to me that the hand that is supposedly his right hand (our left) looks as though it has been painted in, and his actual left hand is faintly showing up closer to his chin on the right hand side, almost as if he is contemplating something and leaning on his chin. Anatomically this would appear to work better, as the hand in front does look a bit like the hands in front of Mary - very large and disfigured.
Posted By: nett

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/26/04 12:11 AM

Now I have gotten started I am seeing things everywhere - perhaps, if the theory that the painting has been "doctored" is correct, the hand of Peter, near Mary's throat, has also been painted in later, to cover the obvious shoulder reach of Mary behind Judas. The hands painted at the front of Mary may in fact have been painted to hide Mary's left hand reaching forward to grab a chalice (or in fact may be holding a chalice) that had been painted over. Jesus and Judas are also reaching for something, but there is nothing there. Would this be symbolism of Mary's rightful place to hold the chalice? Okay, that's enough theories for one day - my head is aching.
Posted By: Marc J

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/26/04 10:35 AM

The hand and the knife ma be the missing apostle, indicating that there were indeed 13 at the table (excluding Jesus). To me it seems that the person with the knife was sitting alongside Judas, blissfully buttering/slicing his bread, when Peter, in his shock/outrage at Jesus'news suddenly leans across violently, knocking the 13th person sideways to the left. It also seems like Peter is pressing down on his left arm - i.e on the 13th persons left shoulder. There does seem to be a space between Peter and Judas. So what maybe's happening is that as Judas leans back in shock and Peter comes forward pushing down on the 13the person's shoulder, that ufortunate fellow is pushed sideways off his chair behind Judas'back. All you see is his right hand with the brown sleeve (that nobody else in his vicinity is wearing) and the knife therin, the rest of him having fallen behind Judas or slipping behind the table. The apostle with his hands raised is looking down at his unfortunate friend in surprise. Also, the left hand at Mary's throat may also belong to our falling apostle as he grabs up to steady himself by grabbing at her shoulder. To me it doesn't seem natural from the way Peter is leaning forward and his shoulder position to be his hand. Anyway - just a theory and something to discuss. Perhaps, with high definition, somebody could tell us if all the feet under the table match up.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/27/04 03:06 AM

There are a number of intriguing gestures in The Last Supper and if you look at some of Leonardo’s other paintings you will see more enigmatic hands. It seems to have been one of his things. In The Templar Revelation’, Picknett & Prince state that ‘the disciple who so rudely thrusts his face into Jesus’ in the Last Supper pierces the air in no uncertain terms with his forefinger. This, apparently, is the John the Baptist gesture and it reflects ‘Leonardo’s heretical Johannite opinion’. (page 358). Also I read somewhere, not sure if it was the same book, about the throat-cutting gesture across Mary Magdalene’s neck.
Posted By: Chickendog

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/29/04 05:51 AM

Ok, I may be seeing things everyone else is missing or my mind is creating it's own version but I do not see this hand belonging to Peter at all. A few people have stated that Peter is actually holding this hand. This is exactly what I see. In the milano.arounder.com picture it appears as a smudge but I took the Tongerlo version and coppied it into Word (I don't have a photo editor on my laptop). By zooming in, not only do I clearly see Peter's hand grasping the wrist but, the clothing of the other person is clearly between Peter's arm and hit body. It is a lighter color than the clothing Peter is wearing. This is contrary to what it should look like if the lighting is actually coming from below left. The lower portion of Peter's clothing should be darker. Also, the lighter blue is at the wrist of the hand at Mary's neck. Also, there is a left foot directly below Judas that would be consistant with a person who was sitting in that position being "taken down". The heal is elevated and the toe's are pointing to the right which is the direction the rest of the body would be going also. One final detail I think is overlooked is the expression on Peter's face. This is not a look of someone trying to console Mary. He is clearly straining. He is not simply leaning over to speak to Mary. I understand that I have used a copy of the original for my reference. There certainly is room to believe that this artist included what he felt relevant, but the original is in such poor condition that I didn't find it helpful by itself. The Tongerlo painting was done at a time that the original was in good shape and could easily be copied accurately. Look at the faces and postures, they are very close. Actually I am a bit confused about the artist of this one. It is listed as "unknown" on Lisa's site but the description on the Tongerlo site makes me think Leonardo did it himself. Since 1545 our abbey is in the possession of a remarkable work of art: the most faithful and the most beautiful replica of the 'Last Supper' painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the monastery Santa Maria delle Grazie at Milan. Maybe a comma was just left out of the translation. Anyway enough of my ranting. Your site is certainly worth the time it takes to read, and then some. Thank you!
Posted By: Bebbs

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/29/04 07:21 AM

Hi!
To me it seems that the hand does not belong to anyone at all, nor was it meant to. I think it just symbolizes impending doom, but, as you have all said, he had to make sense of it somehow so that others wouldn't question it.
As for Peter and Mary, I kind of see it as Peter almost like he killed Mary. I know this doesn't make sense in the biblical story at all, but I see his hand slitting her throat. I think that would account for the almost evil expression on Peters face next to the calm face on Mary. At the same time, I don't really think he literally killed her, but that he wanted to.
I dunno, that's just how I see it, even though I don't think it makes sense to anyone else. Give me any feedback.
Posted By: Bebbs

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/29/04 07:33 AM

Oh! A few questions: Someone asked this before, but I did see a response for it. What on earth is the little silver box on the far right hand side? It definately looks like something electronic. Is that just an alarm that the painting itself has attached to it?
Also, what is that yellow-ish blob in between Peter's head and Judas shoulder? Is it supposed to be Peter's shoulder? Because I definately don't think it looks like it.
Posted By: Mike Brice

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/06/05 10:46 AM

I see the hand holding the knife as Marys right hand with Peter restraing her with his right hand on her right wrist and his left hand on her shoulder. The hands clasped in front of Mary do not look like they were painted by Leonardo,who took such care over all the other hands in the painting, while these are very crudely done.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/07/05 01:34 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Brice:
I see the hand holding the knife as Marys right hand with Peter restraing her with his right hand on her right wrist and his left hand on her shoulder. The hands clasped in front of Mary do not look like they were painted by Leonardo,who took such care over all the other hands in the painting, while these are very crudely done.
I can certainly see what you mean, but if that were the case, wouldn't this information have become known when the recent restoration was done?
Or maybe it wouldn't. That would be something for Dan Brown to mull over.
Posted By: magelle

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/07/05 05:40 AM

certainly dan brown created such a storm with the discussion on the last supper..in a predominantly catholic setting tho' there would be great resistance, in the first place, as to the presence of mary magdalene among the apostles...not that dan brown was not convincing in his stories..
Posted By: Warren J. Dew

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/07/05 05:45 AM

My observations from looking at the high res version under fairly high magnification:

- Andrew's expression looks to me like, "hey, careful with that knife." I don't see a need for a deeper meaning here.

- If you see the brown area as Peter's right hand, where is his elbow? The point of the blue sleeve furthest to our left is too close to the hand to be the elbow if the arm is to be anatomically correct. The roll in the cloth higher up could be the elbow, but then the leftmost point of the sleeve looks like a second elbow, which makes the arm seem really weird. I don't think the brown area being Peter's hand is consistent with Leonardo's known anatomical accuracy.

- Why does the knife blade curve away from the person whose hand holds it, instead of being in line with the hilt? Pretty strange shape for a knife.

- My conclusion: the painting makes the most sense if the brown spot is where Peter's wrist is supposed to be. As presently painted, that would make the hand holding the knife Peter's (but see below). Make the hand a little more robust and adjust the position slightly so that the hilt is in line with the knife blade, and this would look good. Maybe the hand became smaller and more feminine during various repaintings over the centuries.

- But on the other hand, I also like the idea of Peter, who looks pretty strong, twisting John's knife holding hand so John falls under the table. In this case, Mary is looking down at John. Maybe Peter is telling Mary her son is going to be King, not letting on (or not having yet decided) that he's going to establish the throne of Peter (the Papal line).

- So why did I say "as presently painted" above? Originally, the brown spot might have been Peter's wrist but with the hand originally extending straight, half hidden by Judas' right upper arm. In this theory, what are now the hilt and blade of the knife were originally just the blade of a larger knife that Peter was holding, dagger style (pinky towards point rather than index finger towards point). The shape of the knife makes more sense this way. It also makes for a more dynamic picture. However, in this interpretation, Peter looks more threatening than Judas; maybe this was pointed out to Leonardo, and Leonardo modified the hand and knife to a more casual hold?

Oh, and James the Minor looks pretty feminine to me, too. In the high resolution picture, you can see that the hair at his chin is head hair lying on his left shoulder, and not a beard; he has no facial hair.

Just my thoughts. Thanks for the interesting site and link to the high res picture.
Posted By: yellowcanary515

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/08/05 01:47 AM

i think its ridiculus to try to guess Leonardo's reason and/or the person it belongs to, because Only leonardo would know his full intention of putting it there, He was a genius and had totally new ways of thinking, to even try to imagine what the hand is about is to insult his intelligence greatly
Posted By: diddly

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/08/05 02:26 AM

well it kinda highlights how ignorant our generation is. we succumb to all curiousity, ivade someones privacy, create conspiracies, we want to satisfy this great need. however who knows, maybe leonardo would thank us for being so interested, so willing to spend so much time trying to interpret a work which he put so much energy and mindpower into encrypting. or maybe he's sitting back, laughing his ass off at us fools, that the answer is right there. anyway, i think it's fun to use your brain to try and understand a work of ultimate genius, it's a great interest of mine, history.
Posted By: crean

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/08/05 03:05 AM

Unnecessary confusion is arising because contributers are not familiar with the actual details given in the gospels about the Last Supper. Peter is neither "warning" nor "threatening" John. John "the beloved disciple" has been leaning close to Jesus. Then Jesus announces one disciple will betray him. Peter whispers to John urging him to ask Jesus which disciple he means. John then asks Jesus: "Who is it, Lord?" And Jesus replies: "It is the one to whom I will reach bread dipped." And he hands the bread to Judas. The hand near John's neck which Dan Brown describes as performing a threatening chopping motion is doing nothing of the sort. Peter's hand is drawing John towards him so that he can whisper to him. This also explains the supposed famous M: the reason there is a gap between Jesus and John at this stage is because Peter is pulling John back in order to whisper to him. If one knows the gospel description it all seems natural and inevitable -- Leonardo wasn't up to any tricks, just faithfully depicting the scene as described in gospel.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/08/05 11:00 PM

I like MarkDaVinci's interpretation of the hand smile

nett - we talk about the 'all on one side' issue on the site, it is just an arrangement for the painting so we could see their faces. There isn't enough physical space for them to all sit at their plates smile
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/08/05 11:06 PM

Chickendog - that is an interesting point, that the interaction between Mary and Peter is sort of disconnected. Peter is leaning over quite energetically - but Mary (/John) is sitting there quite passively and contentedly.

Bebbs - this painting was done on the actual wall of the room. It's not a painting in a frame. That silver box is a modern device on that wall.

Crean - if that were true, why is John so peaceful and content then, if he has just heard his favorite leader is about to be slain?
Posted By: DCLOL

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/12/05 04:18 AM

If you go to the link you have on this site with the high-res image of The Last Supper and zoom in on the hand, it couldn't be more obvious that Peter is resting the back of his hand on his hip. I'm doing it right now and my hand is in exactly the same position that Peter's is in the painting.
Posted By: Nectarios

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/12/05 01:36 PM

Hallo, I’m new here but I have a question; Can anyone inform me who is who on this Da Vinci’s painting. If John is “Mary” then where is he? Where is the real John? About that knife I am not sure what to tell, perhaps Leonardo’s still trying to confuse us by drwing something that it souldn’t be there… We all know tha Da Vinci was a vey mistyrious guy making jokes to other people, he wasn’t even a good christian. Perhaps the hand with the knife has the pre-meaning of what is going to happen after that dinner.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/14/05 06:33 AM

Nectarios - go look around the website, I have complete maps of who is who in the painting, and a whole page on the "where is the real John" smile

DCLOL yes that is what we've been talking about here - that it is *possible* to have a hand in that general position. But there are inconsistencies with anatomy and the exact placement of that hand - and also remember that Leonardo spent years on this painting. The position of the hand and knife, and color of the sleeve, and all the rest, was not by accident. It was done quite on purpose.
Posted By: painedforever

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/17/05 10:26 PM

My two cents:

I'm currently visiting the high-res link to "The Last Supper" at http://milano.arounder.com/PROJECTS/SANTA_MARIA_DELLE_GRAZIE/ and...

If you zoom into the picture, particularly where Peter is leaning over Judas to speak to John/Mary, doesn't it seem as though he's actually *grasping* the knife-holding hand around the wrist? There's his hand, the darkened shadow, and right next to it, the pale spectre of the hand.

For a moment, I thought that it might be John/Mary (can't we just refer to the person as "Jary" or "Mohn"?), but both of that person's hands are folded in front of them on the table.

Identity of the hand I can't discern, but just between Peter's hand and Judas' back, you can see another portion of the arm.

If you like, I think that I could put up an image to illustrate my meaning...
Posted By: DonnaD

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/18/05 08:30 AM

After studying the hi-res pre-restoration image, it is my firm opinion that Peter is subduing someone holding a knife. He is dipping down sharply to his left, his shoulder dropping as if he has that left arm wrapped around the front of the unseen person's neck in a sort of wrestling hold.
The person with the knife has clearly already slashed Peter's yellow cloak during the struggle, the torn material hanging below and and under Peter's arm as he restrains the hand holding the knife. Take a look for yourself--the material is raggedy and torn, quite unlike the folds and draping of everyone else's cloaks and robes. The portion of the yellow cloak above the slash can be seen quite clearly as a thin strip of yellow material, exposing his blue robe through the slashed open area.
The person holding the knife has his left arm under Peter's left arm as he is subdued, with his left hand falling onto Mary's right shoulder.
I also see a foot under the table in front of Peter's sandaled foot (Peter's left foot, toes pointed to our right, leather toe strap on his big toe) and coming from behind Judas' leg (Judas' green cloak is tied at the ankle of his right foot, which has a blue thong sandal on it) that does not match any other foot or shoe. The foot and lower leg are all one color, brown, with no discernable shoe, and are angled with the heel up and toes pressed on the floor in a position consistant with someone bending their knee down towards the floor, or perhaps being pushed down into that position in a struggle. Again, this foot and leg are located between Judas' leg and Peter's foot, so this foot belongs to someone located between those two men.
Judas is leaning so far across the table that his elbow is almost at the other side of the table. This would be consistant with what is going on right behind him.
Thoughts?
Posted By: Stormfriend

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/20/05 05:47 PM

This picture was what got me coming to this site in the first place too.

After looking at the high res version I think the hand is definitely Peter's (assuming it is Peter leaning over) and he's resting his hand on his hip in a casual fashion. He has the knife out because of the plate of food in front of him and it would be normal to have one at lunch. Granted, we don't use knives that size any more at the table, but that looks reasonable for the age it represented.

The view on Mary's face clearly indicates no threat whatsoever, rather Peter is telling her something she is happy to hear.

In fact this whole picture is completely devoid of tension (excepting Judas' bag of money), which is rather depressing actually. I like a good conspiracy theory! The only one I've got left to examine now is the sacred feminine vs the masculine church, which is more promising...
Posted By: tinxie

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/21/05 06:32 AM

after carefully studying the painting, these are my findings laugh





Posted By: tinxie

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/21/05 06:36 AM

I know most of you peepz already know this, but I was just a little "bothered" by some of the comments about the painting about the knife being held by Magdalene and all. Errrrrr... Maybe those people who made those comments didn't study the painting well laugh laugh laugh
Posted By: Stormfriend

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/21/05 05:32 PM

Andrew's expression and the position of his hands is interesting. Maybe he's saying he doesn't want anything to do with whatever has that side of the table engaged in conversation. Either way, Mary is in on it. Maybe they're arranging to throw Jesus in the river afterwards for a laugh?

Why does Peter have his hand on her shoulder? The other disciple has his hand on Peter's shoulder too, so that seems fine, unless it 'wasn't done' to touch a lady. That would mean either Mary isn't Mary, a possibility despite looking so feminine, or maybe Peter was having an affair with her?

There you go, a whole new conspiracy!
Posted By: gosh

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/21/05 11:39 PM

Thanks tinxie for some good reasoning in all this.

First: there seems to be some confusion around how the painting looked before it was restored: The painting found on lisasheas page is NOT how the painting looked before it was restored. It is a REPLICA, a COPY made of some not so great painter. If you compare f.ex. the number of legs and the missing door and shadows from the legs you get a hint of how much he (she?) changed the painting.

But if we look at Leonardos painting instead:

I believe you can read the painting like this:
The image captured a brief moment, freezing a LOT of action:
Maybe the moment before Peter was using the knife. ,slicing bread och peeling a fruit as you would peele a fruit: knife edge towards thumb. When he hears the words of Jesus he gets upsets and leans to say something to Mary/John: He puts his left hand on her should and turns the knife so he wont cut himself or Judas. Note that this is not awkward at all, its how most people would do without thinking on it. Note also that Peter, when reaching to Mary, pushes Judas forward against the table and us, and its clear that he (Judas) leans away from Peter. This sudden push also can explain the startled way Judas moves his left hand.

If you look at the two left apostles they seem to be rather concered and probably says something like "Hey, Peter, come on, take it easy".

Andrew seems to be rather startled.

Mary/john looks mostly sad and Peter looks mean.

What does he say? He could be saying, while hiding the knife but prepared to use it: "Oh, who can it be? It cannot be you? can it?"

or. "I knew it!"

or "I will kill the one who betrays him"

And finally about Peters posture:
The yellow part at the right of the hand is the Peters yellow "toga". The dark part is the part of the hand being shadowed of the arm.
Peters elbow is immidiately right of Andrews left (his left) hand. And yes: if you enlarge the painting the posture may look awkward but this is only because it is totally anatomial and PERSPECTIVISTICALLY correct! At the distance at which the painting was supposed to be seen it works! The effect is called "foreshortening".

/gosh
Posted By: jbunt

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/22/05 05:40 PM

Leonardo probably wanted to sabotage his commission. He used a new process that he knew was not lasting - not a good idea if you want to pass on coded messages. He took an inordinate amount of time to produce a work butchered by hanging knives, strange hand at someone's neck (Mary, John), etc. Speaking of which, look at the Mary/John left arm. An NFL linebacker does not have such an extensive arm. Sorry, he hated the commission and, because of that, he produced a mediocre work, and probably got much delight bs ing the patrons about what the defects meant.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/23/05 02:57 AM

Gosh is exactly right - the image posted most recently here is the *redone* version. So making statements based on what it shows is only showing what the restorer did - not exactly what Leonardo originally painted. The restorer would have no idea what subtle clues Leonardo had put into the way he constructed the painting and would just 'connect the dots'.

JBunt - he didn't hate the commission at all! We have a lot of notes on this work - he spent TONS of time on it, far longer than they wanted him to. If he hated it, he would have done it quickly, poorly and gone on to something else. Instead he stayed on the job for years, when they tried to rush him, and painstakingly redid pieces until they were exactly right.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/23/05 11:34 PM

If you go to:
http://cti.itc.virginia.edu/~pb4r/Leonardo/docs/02.02-drap.html
you should find a Leonardo sketch, of a hand and arm, with the wrist bent much as in 'The Last Supper'
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/24/05 01:48 AM

Right, PDM, we know that Leonardo did many sketches with ideas for various parts of this painting. But again, if he just had a "floating hand" in the painting, it would have been refused. The hand/arm *had* to have some basis in reality. But again, we have to look at that hand in context and ask why Leonardo chose to even include the knife, chose to put it by Judas, chose to have it pointing at Andrew, chose to have Andrew with his hands up etc.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/24/05 01:55 AM

I agree, Leonardo was too talented and too clever to do anything by chance. There is apparent symbolism in so many of his paintings - the ones with religious themes in particular - but can we solve the clues? (Can we make a better job of it than Robert Langdon? smile )
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/26/05 05:24 AM

Well we definitely can do a better job than Brown / Langdon given that we are at least starting with authentic facts smile Now if we could just get a time machine constructed, we could go back and talk to Leonardo and find out for sure. Isn't it amazing that with all the books and notebooks we have from Leonardo, that he didn't write out his thoughts on the painting for us? smile Or that local tabloids of the time didn't give interviews with him? smile
Posted By: Mandarax

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/27/05 11:20 PM

I haven’t read all the posts to this forum so please forgive me if these topics have been previously addressed. Concerning the knife/hand issue… In the copy of The Last Supper that I own it seems clear that the knife and hand belong to Peter. To me it did seem an odd position at first but upon further inspection it seems as though the knife is being held “backhand”. Holding a knife in this way would have the blade pointed down were it to be raised to eye level with the thumb resting on the hilt. We might wonder as to why Da Vinci would place the knife within his composition in this strange way? Perhaps this was done to alleviate the possibility that Peter’s gesture toward MaryJohn was a hostile one. Imagine the composition had the knife been pointed the other way, either Peter is going to whack Judas for his treachery, or MaryJohn is in trouble. One might ask as to why the knife is included at all? Apparently that knife is soon to be used against Roman guards in the traditional story of the last supper. This however is not the only reason. Leonardo being a master pictorial artist and storyteller included the knife as a source of tension. We can be assured that conveying tension is Da Vince’s desire by referring to the reaction of the apostles located to the left within the composition. As Jesus announces the news of Judas’s betrayal, many eyes gaze at him in surprise. Judas himself is portrayed as slightly sinister with his guilty expression, a hand possibly clutching a most recently acquired bag of silver. And Peter only inches away with a knife…Why, if I had been Peter I would of… well you get the picture. (No pun intended) Perhaps Da Vinci was part of a secret society and was tricky in his portrayal of John, but I don’t feel the knife should be incorporated into the interpretation of his “code”. BTW, was I the only one who got shushed as a child for asking Grandmother who the girl next to Jesus was at the last supper? Mandarax
Posted By: Mandarax

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/27/05 11:48 PM

Did I say backhanded knife placement? strike that, Peter is even more simply holding the knife pointed toward his right as he leans past Judas, but keep the rest.

Mandarax
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/28/05 03:15 AM

See, so you sensed the conspiracy even as a child! smile

Definitely read through the other forum posts on the topic and in the Leonardo pages I have, we do talk about this a lot. It is very intriguing, just why Leonardo chose to include that knife, in that particular location ...
Posted By: Soja

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/17/05 05:38 AM

Hmmm I am a new member and I never read the Bible, never read the Da Vinci's Code by Dan Brown. But, it is almost too easy to make a conclusion to all this fuzz about these paintings and "code" stuff.

Here's the conclusion, creators make the history, and the secrets lie dead with the creators, so we will never find out the truth no matter how hard we try to. There will never be enough proof unless like say Leonardo himself left a note somewhere giving us the answers.

Besides, if your are religious you should just keep beliving in what you believe and not ask any questions, because if you do it simply means you are not dedicated, or committed enough to your religion. The point is, if you have so many questions you might as well not be religous.

As said above, the creators make the history. Bible was definitely written by men, therefore it could have been changed many times over, or edited to the writter's likes. So we will never know the truth, only what the creators want us to know. Same with Leonardo's The Last Supper. I mean, he's the guy who did the painting and it's been changed so many times. What if he simply made a little joke in the painting, or mistakes, why bother wasting time to find out.

Basically, religions cause too much trouble and divides people. NO OFFENSE but religious people are too stubborn and ignorant and does not want to change or even FEAR changes. They will never be willing to accept new ideas. Good example is when the Christians started calling Mary Mangdalene a whore. Like seriously, what if Dan Brown was right with bunch of proofs? Are millions of religious people just gonna go to their corners and cry about it?

Oh by the way, i am not totally anti religious, cuz i think Dan Brown is wasting time too trying to prove the religious people wrong and try to make them cry
Posted By: Leedles

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/17/05 06:01 AM

I am sorry Soja but I disagree with a lot of your reasoning and logic in the argument you put forward. I think that being religious does not mean you should stop asking questions. I think you confuse being religious as adhering to a strict tradition such as Islam or Christianity. I think that asking questions is what leads us to the religions we follow in the first place. We seek answers to the meaning of life and sometimes we are lucky enough to find adequate answers in a religion we choose to follow.

I also find you completely contradict yourself when you say that religious people are too stubborn and ignorant. According to your previous statement, it is only these type of people who should be religious. You say they shouldn't ask so many questions. Personally I believe everyone should have an inquisitive mind no matter what their religious beliefs. This may stop us from making mistakes and forces us to challenge the basis of our beliefs and how we choose to live our life.
Posted By: Soja

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/17/05 06:17 AM

Indeed Leedles that's definitely true. No matter who you are you should never stop asking questions. Religion and beliefs are quite different while many may think they are the same. Beliefs unite people, like you and I both believe people should never stop questioning. Religion though, divides people. As for the part where you said I "contradict myself...", I agree with you as well. I would like to apologize for making such a prejudice and bias point on religious people being stubborn and ignorant; however, the truth is if you continue to question 'most' religious people about their beliefs on things such as gods and prophecy, they would eventually likely to say something like: "As long as I have my FAITH, that's all I need." Because you really can't prove religion anywhere or anytime, where as scientifical things you can easily prove.

And I still strongly believe in my own opinion on people with power makes history. Imagine what our textbooks will be like today if Nazi's won in WWII
Posted By: Leedles

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/17/05 11:29 PM

I definitely agree with your opinion on powerful people writing history. It is obvious that history is presented too us by the victors and unfortunately it is usually men. I wonder what the world would be like today if women had been running it.
Posted By: Soja

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/18/05 12:05 AM

It would be quite interesting to see women running the world. But my opinion of powerful peoeple writing history was not only to make a point on its own, but also to make a point saying that religion could be all fake and men-made.
Posted By: razormd

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/19/05 09:36 PM

Well, having read many of the posts I decided to throw in my two cents worth on the subject...first, as several have noted the painting has been "mucked" with so much it's difficult to substantiate specific claims -- see:
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~lbianco/project/restoration.html

http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~lbianco/project/gallery.html

...it's interesting that in the "beforelarge.jpg" from the second link that the individual at Jesus' right hand appears to be a "mirror image" of himself!...to my point, however, I couldn't find any post where anyone had noted that the object on Peter's right hip is a satchel with what appears to be fringe decoration...extending from the satchel are straps front and back that run up over Peter's left shoulder...I think that some people confuse the front strap as being part of the right sleeve and this distorts the perspective of Peter's flexed wrist with his hand holding the knife...this along with the paint lost from the flexed wrist area itself produces the odd "hand from nowhere" effect.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/20/05 05:35 PM

I think we should all plan a field trip to see the actual painting - even though of course right now all we could see was the 'modified' painting. At least it would be a start. Then we should all build a time machine so we can go back in time and see the painting immediately after Leonardo finished it, and ask him what in the world he was thinking smile

We've talked about women running the world in other posts. I really don't feel it would make any difference. There have been societies run by women that were good - there have also been female rulers that have been cruel and nasty. Anyone who takes power has potential for good or for harm. Female soldiers can be just as evil as male soldiers. It all depends on the person and the culture.
Posted By: tasha

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/22/05 12:18 AM

we could try a little harder to determine if there is in fact another person in the painting.... count the pairs of feet under the table. I counted a couple of time and with the exceptions of some people positioned side ways, I think that there are 13 people.
Posted By: A curious person

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/26/05 07:28 PM

Hi,
I am new to this forum, so please excuse if I take up an old topic, but it seems to me that although all of you (actually I did not read the whole thread, please excuse that)make egreat fuss about Peter having his hand at an odd angle, if it actually was his and that Leonardo never had painted such a thing because he was so great at anatomy, but although I do agree with the whole odd angle issue it strikes me that not only this hand appears to be at an odd angle but also the hand of the "pink" clothed guy coming from behind the disciple with the uphold hands and touching pter's back cannot really belong to him.
Posted By: A curious person

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/26/05 08:28 PM

Me again..
sorry I am sure there must be a better place to make some remarks, but I just couldn't find it now so I'll just write here again.
For once I wanted to thank you very much for your amazing effort on the website, it's really informative and interesting!
Nevertheless there are some things that surprised me. It appears to me that you usually make very well balanced remarks on topics when you specifically write about them but in other cases ignore the ambiguity of facts.
for instance you make an important saying tghat the last supper was not a fresco, yet on the site with Leonardo paintings you link a page which actually states that the last supper is a fresco.

Another thing I came across is that you sometimes seem to regard Leonardo's being gay as a fact as well as writing from right to left as fun rather than something that was just done to make it for him as a lefty easier to write. I am not saying that your assumptions are wrong but I believe that it might be more correct to not state such things as fact, but leaving room for uncertainties.

Yet, once agaoin I want to express my being very much impressed by the whole of your site.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/27/05 01:51 AM

"last supper was not a fresco"

I think the two descriptions can be explained by looking at the definitions given on this online dictionary site:
http://onlinedictionary.datasegment.com/word/Fresco

Fresco: (Fine Arts)
(a) The art of painting on freshly spread plaster, before it dries.
(b) In modern parlance, incorrectly applied to painting on plaster in any manner.
(c) A painting on plaster in either of senses a and b.
[1913 Webster]

* * *

"Leonardo's being gay"

I'm not convinced about this. He was charged with a related offence, but it didn't stick. He was surrounded by male friends and apprentices - and he painted them. But then, lots of young men enjoy male company and artists' apprentices were male by definition, so that doesn't mean anything.
According to German researcher Maike Vogt Luerrsen, he painted the same female model over and over again. This was Isabella of Aragon, who married his master and so was unattainable even though Leonardo was in love with her. His workshop was near her apartments. He worked on her bathroom ensuring she had hot water and Ms Vogt-Luerssen thinks that they actually did marry after Isabella was widowed.

* * *

"writing from right to left"

My Mum can do this; so can I but not as well as her. They did some research on this recently.
My son used to do it without thought or intention. He has problems with dyslexia and dysgraphia.
Dyslectic people tend to be very artistic, creative and think more laterally than others. I think that this could well describe Leonardo.
Posted By: dv_reader

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/05/05 11:50 PM

I read the Dan Brown book recently and really appreciated the information and discussion on this site. The Last Supper is a fascinating example of the artist working under fear of censure.

I don't buy the suggestion that the knife denotes Judas' back-stabbing propensities. The knife can only be in Peter's hand, and an artist such as this would not allow that to be an incidental fact. Leonardo has already made his point about Judas with the bag of money. Great artists don't repeat themselves. But the arguable connection with Judas would have been a convenient loophole for Leonardo if the true meaning had offended his ecclesiastical critics.

And the true meaning of this painting seems clearer to me every time I look at it. There are two villains here, their faces in juxtaposition. Judas with his bag of gold and Peter with his words of false comfort and his knife. The knife is his but does not seem to be his. After all the first Bishop of Rome would have to be a politician amongst other things. See his other hand, extending menacingly towards Mary's throat. Jesus has just said that he will be betrayed. There is shock on all sides, but Peter is thinking and talking. He has his mind on the future. The assertion in Dan Brown's novel that the Catholic Church's persecution of women was represented here is plausible - though we should remember that Leonardo was just another guy expressing his own opinion. This is not photographic evidence of what really happened at that meal!

I think Dan Brown stretches his material to the limits, like any good novelist(!), and I may not go all the way with him. But I think he's right about this painting and about what Leonardo was trying to say.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/08/05 11:43 PM

Leonardo not only wrote from left to write but in "mirror writing" - that has nothing to do with being left handed smile He was simply a brilliant man!
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/09/05 08:00 PM

My Mum does a lot of 'mirror writing' for fun. My son did it because he was dyslexic.
They'd both be thrilled to think that people considered them 'brilliant'.
I do it myself - but not as well as them.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/15/05 05:23 AM

Dyslexic is usually about confusing letters, so it's very neat that he actually wrote entire sentences in mirror writing! It definitely is a very cool talent to be able to write something completely in mirror writing. I know I love reading things in mirror image - i.e. holding something up to a mirror and then trying to read it easily. It is a fun mental challenge.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/15/05 11:23 PM

There was actually a challenge in the newspaper here, a short while ago. It was all about mirror writing. My Mum was surprised at all the fuss since she just sort of does it like doodling, when she's not really thinking about it. Quite a few people wrote in to say that they did it too. I remember that my uncle was very impressed. He thought it was quite a skill.

What my son did was to make up comic strips. The letters were confused, but he would have a man facing one way - with the words coming out of his mouth in one direction, while the man facing him would have the words coming out in the other - in mirror writing. Amazing to see.
Posted By: Ian

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/17/05 06:43 AM

Here's my theory about the Judas knife...

I don't think DaVinci was playing a joke as much as trying to provide deeper meaning, confliction and interest - a focus for a larger conversation, if you will...

Upon careful examination it does look like the hand is twisted as if on the hip. While awkward, it can be reproduced with the correct alignment of the fingers and thumb positions. Now erase this image from your mind.

The knife is also juxtaposed as if there was someone standing in front of Judas facing Jesus with their right arm open and the thumb and forefinger on the blade steel. This hand-knife position is traditionally used to slit a throat because the finger-thumb control keeps the blade from turning against cartiledge on a sideways, or cross-stroke used for bloodletting. The extended arm appears almost transparent - or "without current substance - but starting to appear" may be a better description for my theory. Note that the hand is clear - the arm (if there was no arm extended there would be no controversy) though, is almost transparent.

In the third interpretation I have read is that Judas is holding down the phantom arm wielding the knife. In the restored painting it appears that the hand holding down the knife is slightly darker than the knife hand or the hand on Mary. The darkening of touching evil?

It all makes sense to me. Really.

DaVinci wasn't playing tricks. He was pondering the existence of the Devil. The Devil is armed and ready and is standing in front of an unknowing Judas. Judas here didn't know he would be the betrayer - he was probably consoling Mary rather than telling her a secret. (Who would interupt their leader to talk to his wife during a crucial and tense couple of minutes?) To me Mary (oh, yes it is..) looks like she knows Judas' consolement is futile but she is appreciative he has reached out immediately.

So my theory of what Leo was trying to convey is that the Devil walks close and unseen among us, is ready for evil battle and also patient but impotent without a host - or delivery vehicle (i.e. Judas). Judas in his heart can feel his shortcomings (as we all can) and is trying ever vigilant to fight or supress (by holding the wrist and trying to push it down to the table) his weakness because his weakness will facilitate evil. The classic battle for good and evil is clearly represented in this piece. It was no mistake.

This battle has such signifigance here that it is portrayed near the center of the piece rather than having Judas skulking somewhere. I think it is very deliberate and purposeful and is one of the great main themes of this artwork.

FYI: I am a devout nothing. I find my personal religion in the backcountry lakes and mountains that I am fortunate to occasion - usually the fourth or fifth day out if I look hard enough wink

Thoughts anyone?
Posted By: Himwic

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/18/05 04:16 PM

Have a look here, first I wanted to believe there was something mysterious about the knife, but after I saw this I'm convinced it's Peter who's holding the knife.

http://www.urbanfolkparade.com/found/knife/index.htm
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/18/05 04:36 PM

Hi Himwic,
I have already mentioned that sketch somewhere on this thread, as has someone else, I believe.

When I first saw it, I thought the same as you, but it was then pointed out that it could be taken either way, and maybe that was Leonardo's intention.

It's a pity that the painting has deteriorated so much. That does not help us to uncover the truth.
Posted By: LPG

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/19/05 09:13 AM

I had a dyslexic student a few years back, in grade three so aged 9. The thing I'll always remember was he could write a full page of work faster than any student in his class all in 'mirror writing'. A year later he was prescribed special tinted glasses and that enabled him to write correctly without the few back the front letters/numbers but he was still a whizz at the mirror writing.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/19/05 03:45 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sonia:
I had a dyslexic student a few years back, in grade three so aged 9. The thing I'll always remember was he could write a full page of work faster than any student in his class all in 'mirror writing'. A year later he was prescribed special tinted glasses and that enabled him to write correctly without the few back the front letters/numbers but he was still a whizz at the mirror writing.
That's interesting!

My son (the dyslectic one who used to do mirror-writing) has been told he can have tinted lenses, but only after he has used tinted sheets for a while.

The optician doesn't want us to spend a large amount of money until we are sure that the tints work, and that we have the right colour.

Unfortunately, my son finds the sheets very annoying. He would have to lift them up each time he answered a question, etc, so he'd rather struggle on without.

School was a big problem for him; he's bright but couldn't cope with the restrictive atmosphere and he's now home schooled.

I'm tempted to just buy the glasses anyway. I'm sure that they would help - especially after what you said.

I think I'll start a thread on this - see if anyone is interested.
Posted By: Jo

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/21/05 12:40 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Ian:

Judas here didn't know he would be the betrayer - he was probably consoling Mary rather than telling her a secret.
i think you'll find that it's peter holding down the knife and talking to mary. judas is sitting down in front of them with the coins in one hand and the other streched toward the bowl.
you've got some very interesting points though
smile
Posted By: Callum

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/27/05 11:40 AM

No no no no no! You've all got it all wrong!

It has been mentioned that Peter bears some resemblance to Leonardo's self portrait. This is true. Leonardo did paint himself in. The fabric that can be seen between his arm and body isn't a tear in the fabric, or an unseen assailant or anything like that: it's a Prada handbag. And that isn't a knife in his hand at all, it's a hairbrush! What we are witnessing here, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Leonardo coming out of the closet!

Geez, how could you all miss that? laugh

Seriously though, I don't know what to think any more after reading all this :p

I think Peter's (?) hand on Mary/John's shoulder looks perfectly natural, unthreatening and in a perfectly anatomically correct position in relation to his shoulder.

I believe it was in the post just above, that there is a link to Urban Parade or some such, that mentions that the dark area that could be interpreted as another hand grasping the knife wielder's was simply where paint had flaked away. I could just about see a hand there grasping it, but together with the preliminary sketch of an arm in exactly that position, and the overlay provided on that same site, I believe it is Peter's arm, not disembodied or anything.

AS to why the knife is even there... well... that's still a mystery to me. But it may be possible that it was there to identify Peter, as the bag of coins identifies Judas? If Peter is mentioned later in the bible as defending Jesus with the knife, then perhaps Leo added that detail as a name card of sorts. *shrugs*
Posted By: Callum

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/27/05 11:44 AM

Oh yes, and as for mirror writing: the alphabet is designed for right handed people. I'm right handed, but when writing left-handed it is extremely difficult... I have to curve my hand completely around the letters I am writing... and sometimes the letters come out back-to-front if I'm not concentrating. It was probably just easier for Leo, as a leftie, to write back-to-front, especially if he did a lot of writing.
Posted By: insearch

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/31/05 03:24 PM

Hi knew to the forum. there seems to be alot of repeating in discussion. deep though the ideas maybe. i have thought of a few things to think about when looking at the situation of mar and jesus.
first of all you have to take out all religious beliefs. i personally could not care whether jeses is the son of god or not, i lost all faith in the bible a long time ago.

In the time of christ being on earth, celebacy was almost forbidden by jewish men, there main purpose was to search for a suitable woman to bear his child. why on earth would jesus not be married or have a girlfriend, partner whatever. surely the tasks he had to do were bad enough for his reputation let alone go against the grain of every human. from a normal point of view it would have been in his best interests.
in any case Jesus could just have been a veryu influential person who had a way with talking to people. look at david blaine, or copperfield, derren brown. all can give the illusion of something thats not real. was jesus just an ancient time politician? considering he was claiming the throne of david!
Another thing is that according to gnostic gospels Mary was to take jesus' teachings to the next level, not peter as the christian bible tells us. if this was so then i think that peter would be mightly upset. surely that would be enough to want to kill here? maybes Da vinci wanted to show this?. add to this that there is rumour that jesus and mary had a daughter called sarah who was taken to france with mary after his death and the story gets deeper.
i feel that this discussion will go on for another 2000 years (or until we blow ourselves up)!!
like to thank the administrator for starting this discussion. im doing my dissertation on the science and religion within art and this has left my mind about to go into meltdown!!
oh and one more thing is he could have just put the knife there for people like us to ponder on! he he you have to admire his genius!!!
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/31/05 07:45 PM

Hello and welcome insearch.

It's true, there is repetition at times. Lots of threads and lots of members!

In fact we have discussed the celibacy issue before. It does seem that celibacy was not the norm in those days for a Rabbi, like Jesus, but then it seems that there weren't many other rabbis like Jesus. The Bible, if we are to believe it, tells how he went against the grain at almost any opportunity. So, if it wasn't the norm for most, then that in itself might make it the norm for him.

I would just like to add that I haven't a clue whether he was married or not or whether any of the Bible stories are true. I would guess that at least some of them may be.

You are probably right; we could discuss all this for a thousand more years and not be any the wiser. Who knows? It's interesting and enjoyable though - and I actually do think it makes us wiser.

Good luck with your dissertation.
Posted By: harsha

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/03/05 11:03 AM

hi
i am relatively new to this da vinci mystrey but am very much intrigued by it... i have read the da vinci code and am really impressed and horrified by the church's stand to this... Can anyone please furnish me any links or details for further indepth facts on this subject???
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/04/05 09:25 AM

Hello Harsha,

Welcome to the forum.

I would recommend that you read Lisa's pages on 'The Da Vinci Code', followed by all the discussions on this site.
Posted By: DOY

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/06/05 08:00 AM

I have heard about the Da Vinci Code but haven't read it yet, I came to this forum by chance but find it fascinating. To me, the issue of "Peter's" hand on "Mary/John's" shoulder and the issue of "Peter's" hand holding a knife are both unrealistic. Digital cameras today are very popular, it is easy for anyone who would like to associate Peter to the hand with a knife and the hand over "Mary/John's" shoulder to post a digital picture showing how it can be done, I dont' think it will be easy.
I think the hand over "Mary/John's" shoulder could still come from Peter if Peter was one of those athletes with very flexible bodies, but the hand with a knife just couldn't be from Peter. The pictures at urbanfolkparade site actually serves to support it isn't Peter's hand.
When I looked at the two sketches at the urbanfolkparade site, I have no difficulty associating the hand to the arm of the same sketch, but when I looked at the third illustration (from Da Vinci's painting), the hand is clearly shifted to a position impossible for it to be still coming from the arm in the same picture. Just check the positions of the joints of the thumb in the three pictures and try to simulate the Da Vinci painting in front of a mirror, it's just impossible.
The urbanfolkparade site suggested that some paint is missing from the picture therefore the illusion that the hand is disembodied, I tend not to agree, because all details of the thumb are there, to have a realistic hand-arm connection, part of the thumb has to be blocked by the arm, as are the cases in the other two sketches shown.
So to me, either Da Vinci had made some bad mistakes in his final painting, or he'd put them that way deliberately.
I am going to get a copy of the book and find out what is this all about.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/06/05 06:39 PM

Hello DOY.

It may be that the problem with interpreting this painting is because it has degraded and been repaired over the years.

Or it may be that Leonardo was deliberately trying to make us think.
Posted By: chaologician

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/15/05 09:05 PM

I skipped ahead from around 4 or so, so you might have covered this. The yellow object that Peter is holding is a roman-era copper coinpurse. It seems da Vinci's intent was to implicate him as much as Judas.

As for the knife, I think it was deliberately ambiguous. The artist was trying to draw a parallel between the Last Supper, and the bloody intrigues that were occuring among the italian nobility.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/16/05 02:06 AM

Hello Chaologician.

I hadn't even noticed the Roman purse!

If others want to have a look, the enlarged image can be accessed here:
http://milano.arounder.com/PROJECTS/SANTA_MARIA_DELLE_GRAZIE/

It seems a strange way to hold that purse ... ?
And the juxta positioning of purse and knife is odd, as you suggest.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to find 'a parallel between the Last Supper, and the bloody intrigues that were occuring among the italian nobility'.
Posted By: chaologician

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/17/05 05:26 AM

Someone mentioned the "burglar alarm" along the right edge, but noone responded. This seems genuinely disturbing.
Posted By: Yule

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/29/05 02:16 PM

Hi,

I am also new to the forum,(great site btw) and I have always been interested in conspiracy theories, Holy Grail etc. and am interested in Da Vinci's hidden messages in his paintings...

I was just studying the painting earlier and I feel one minute it looks like Peter's hand and yet when I look at it again, it doesn't.
I started thinking about symbols that Leonardo may have incorporated in this painting and I came up with a thought. Now forgive me if this sounds silly, after all I am no expert. But here goes:

Someone invisable or Peter? is holding the knife towards Andrew and *if* the other hand is in a threatening gesture towards Mary Magadelene-

I was thinking maybe it represents symbols of attacks towards Orthadox Chruch-Andrew's side and Goddess worship-Mary's side. They come from Peters direction which is symbolism of the Pope-Head of the Roman Catholic church.

I don't know but was it around this time that Roman Catholic church was having disagreements with the Orthadox Patriach of Constantinople? Also, Andrew founded the Orthadox Christianity so the knife towards Andrew was maybe a symbol of Rome's contempt for Orthadox Church.
As for the gesture towards Mary-a symbol of Rome's view of Goddess worship..well you know the whole story with that.


Anyway, what do you think? It's just a hypothosis, I have not researched this or anything and like I said before I am no expert in religions. So maybe I am wrong about the whole Orthadox/Roman Catholic thing, feel free to correct me if I am.


Looking forward to more discussions about Da Vinci and The Holy Grail laugh
Posted By: Yule

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/29/05 02:29 PM

Also, one more thing I was considering...

Maybe Peter's Roman purse, is a symbol of the Roman Catholic Church's wealth,and all the money they made from the taxes they imposed centuries ago etc. The taxes imposed by the Catholic church were in use around Leonardo's time weren't they ?

Anyway, just a thought!
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/29/05 06:20 PM

Hi Yule. Welcome to the forum.
Some interesting thoughts there - we'll have to get them checked out. smile
Posted By: Yule

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/30/05 01:25 AM

Thanks for the welcome! I am happy to share my thoughts with you all! laugh
Posted By: LPG

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/30/05 09:14 AM

And a warm welcome from myself also. You've brought up some very interesting ideas here, a new slant on things altogether. Thankyou.
Posted By: beergoggles

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/30/05 01:15 PM

Look at Mary Magdalane, she is about to kill Judas and Peter is grabbing her hand, warning Mary that Judas must betray Jesus(Peter already being rebuked by Christ about the betrayal). It is Mary's hand wielding the knife, and Peter holding her hand at stay. Look at Judas, he must have heard the commotion behind him and is looking at Mary, not Jesus. Another interesting fact, is Jesus is reaching for bread at the same time Judas is reaching for bread. A double dip in the sop.
Posted By: beergoggles

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/30/05 01:29 PM

I believe the bag Judas was holding was not 30 pieces of silver, but Judas was the treasurer, holding the money the diciples have been gathering. Judas was called a thief.
Posted By: beergoggles

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/30/05 02:01 PM

The Yellow object that looks like a bag, could possibly be a mitre worn by the first pope which would be Peter. Someone earlier said it was a Roman Coin Purse.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/04/05 05:53 PM

Hi Beergoggles.
I think it would be really beneficial to go and see the real thing.
I'm sure we would appreciate its meaning more if we did that.
Posted By: alilpyxiidustt

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/06/05 12:44 AM

What I noticed when looking at the hand in the last supper (the one holding the knife) is that the sleeve on the hand appears to be brown or tan in color, whilst Peter is wearing blue. So if it is Peter's hand (as most seem to claim), how is the color on his clothing change in that one area?

Personally, I think Leonardo da Vinci is trying to tell us something about the hand, I just haven't figured it out yet. But I personally don't believe it is Peter's hand.
Posted By: Aerial

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/06/05 01:45 AM

Isn't it possible that Leonardo da Vinci may have been playing 'games' with everyone by doing all this type of work?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/06/05 01:45 AM

Hi alilpyxiidustt. Welcome.

Yes, Leonardo may well have intended us to give this picture a lot of consideration.

I think I read that symbolism was quite the thing amongst some Renaissance artists.
Posted By: Avicularia

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/13/05 06:45 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by beergoggles:
Look at Mary Magdalane, she is about to kill Judas and Peter is grabbing her hand, warning Mary that Judas must betray Jesus(Peter already being rebuked by Christ about the betrayal). It is Mary's hand wielding the knife, and Peter holding her hand at stay. Look at Judas, he must have heard the commotion behind him and is looking at Mary, not Jesus. Another interesting fact, is Jesus is reaching for bread at the same time Judas is reaching for bread. A double dip in the sop.
Can't be Mary's hand. 1) She would have to have a freakishly long arm and 2) She already has two hands folded nicely on the table in front of her.
Posted By: Avicularia

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/13/05 06:56 PM

There is a blurry flesh-colored region of the painting directly to the right of Judas' chin. Most people seem to think that this is Peter's bare shoulder. However, you could instead interpret it to be Peter's right hand on the shoulder of Judas (thus Peter appears to be trying to seperate Mary/John and Judas and/or trying to peer closer to Jesus).

Of course, this interpretations means the the anomalous hand is indeed disembodied.

I does seem suspicious that 1) Peter is the only guy int he room with a bare shoulder and 2) that particular region is more blurred than the rest of the painting, almost intentionally so.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/13/05 09:18 PM

I think it's just a beige-coloured cloak, isn't it?
The type that covers just the one shoulder, as some of the others are wearing?

http://milano.arounder.com/PROJECTS/SANTA_MARIA_DELLE_GRAZIE/
Posted By: maryb

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/14/05 10:34 PM

This is a very interesting site and your arguments are fascinating!

I would like to reply on the matter of Mary Magdalene being present at the Last Supper. In your explanation after the passage from the Gospel of Philip you state: "The Bible DOES say Mary was at the last supper. She "wiped their feet".

I think you will find that the person who wiped the disciples feet at the Last Supper was JESUS himself as depicted in John's Gospel. Mary Magdalene washed Jesus feet with her tears and dried them with her hair on an earlier ocassion not related to the Last Supper.
Posted By: klaudya

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/14/05 11:03 PM

well i think that maybe that is mary m besides jesus and that john is the one hiding behind them with the knife.. i think that makes sense since i dont know who that hand belongs to
Posted By: QuazyQuinn

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/15/05 04:44 AM

People, it is blatantly obvious that Peter is in fact holding the knife. If you go to the hi-res picture and magnify about 3x you will see that there is seperation between the hand and Judas' cloak. The blurry paint supposed to be the shoulder is actually part of Peter's cloak.
Posted By: klaudya

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/15/05 04:33 PM

i dont think thats right
Posted By: SoulfullArtist

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/15/05 07:29 PM

i'm completely new to this site and having read everyone's views on the matter it has left me torn. i have been brought into this fascinating site because of Dan Brown's, The Da Vinci Code. i absolutely loved this book and wanted to find out more. In the book it explains a lot about the last supper which i think is relevant, i think these maybe disembodied hands, belonging to no-one in particular. i think Da Vinci is a master at hiding his true meaning in these masterpieces he has created! i'm sure i'm wrong these are just my hazy views on the matter! confused
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/15/05 10:14 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by maryb:
This is a very interesting site and your arguments are fascinating!

I would like to reply on the matter of Mary Magdalene being present at the Last Supper. In your explanation after the passage from the Gospel of Philip you state: "The Bible DOES say Mary was at the last supper. She "wiped their feet".

I think you will find that the person who wiped the disciples feet at the Last Supper was JESUS himself as depicted in John's Gospel. Mary Magdalene washed Jesus feet with her tears and dried them with her hair on an earlier ocassion not related to the Last Supper.
Hi Mary. Welcome to the forum.
Yes, I think someone else commented on this as well.
You would think that, as a very special apostle, she would be there, though. It's strange that she isn't noted in the Bible as being present.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/15/05 10:19 PM

Hi, and welcome to the forum, Quazyquinn, Klaudya & SoulfullArtist.

As you can see, this thread has many pages of ideas posted, so it is not surprising that we are getting various different comments here today.

This picture - and that knife - seem to arouse different responses in different people.

I tend to go with it being Peter, with his arm bent behind him, but it is ambiguous - and maybe that's how Leonardo intended it to be?!
Posted By: klaudya

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/17/05 06:01 PM

i dont think leonardo would do that
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/17/05 10:43 PM

I don't see why not.
Apparently the Renaissance was a time of symbolism and messages in paintings.
Leonardo was a great artist, a very intelligent man, a scientist of his times, an inventor, non-traditional in his religious life.

If anyone was going to put hidden meaning into his work, then why not Leonardo?
Posted By: klaudya

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/17/05 11:42 PM

oh im sure he hid some codes in his paintings and all i just dont think he would paint a human being in a position where everyone know would be inpossible .. u know what im saying? i still think theres someone hidding behind them
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/17/05 11:58 PM

What about this sketch by Leonardo?


http://cti.itc.virginia.edu/~pb4r/Leonardo/docs/02.02-drap.html

Compared to Peter's arm in The Last Supper:



There is an item about this subject here:
http://www.urbanfolkparade.com/found/knife/


Also the comments here are worth checking out, I think.

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000002;p=7
Posted By: klaudya

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/18/05 03:08 PM

yeah, but look at the hand, its different possisioned.. and trying to bend your arm like that seems impossible..

the hand looks straight, not bend like the arm is.
Posted By: JohnE

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/18/05 03:59 PM

I also believe it is Mary who is holding the knife (in her right hand). Look at how the thumb is positioned, and also look at how far she is leaning over to her right - she wouldn't need a freakishly long arm to be in that position. Also, if you notice, Peter is grabbing her arm, and pulling her away from Jesus. The guy next to Peter has his hands up, like "hey! Don't poke me with the knife!".
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/18/05 09:44 PM

Hello & welcome, John.

It has certainly caused much consternation, whoever it was.

I tend to go for Peter.
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/19/05 07:36 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by klaudya:
yeah, but look at the hand, its different possisioned.. and trying to bend your arm like that seems impossible..

the hand looks straight, not bend like the arm is.
sorry to disagree - both the pictures show the same position. it is very easy to position your arm-wrist-hand like that. may i suggest something to all involved in this forum and suspicious about it : get a digital camera with timer, put it on a fixed structure in front of a table. switcing on the timer, position yourself in the table with your right hand in this fashion and see the two dimensional image in the camera. Better still - take a picture of your partner in that position (this will stop you rushing to your position after sstting the timer) and compare them with the drawing and the picture. wink cool laugh
Posted By: klaudya

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/20/05 03:50 PM

it just looks really weird to me.. being that i am a painter and artist
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/20/05 04:05 PM

yes - let us do the experiment as described by me and see the results!
Posted By: klaudya

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/20/05 04:06 PM

?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/20/05 09:20 PM

Yes, we should try putting our hand in that position and get someone to take photos - then check out the results.
Posted By: klaudya

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/21/05 04:44 PM

ok
Posted By: jiaoshi

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/05 12:03 AM

here is my 2 cents for what they're worth....
peter (if that is really his name...) is RESTRAINING the knife wielder, who is behind peter (unseen). the hand on Mary's shoulder is WAY too large and in an awkward position, so i believe it is the hand of the attacker, behind Peter, with his hand on Mary/John. peter is trying to push the assailant out of the way and protect Mary/John. andrew is throwing up both hands in a typical reaction to an altercation: hey, knock it off you guys.
the apostle to the left of andrew is reaching over to help peter restrain the assailant.

now, WHY is the hidden person causing such a ruckus? his place at the table has been taken by Mary and man, is mystery man pissed!!
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/05 12:15 AM

Hi, welcome jiaoshi.
Some more controversial ideas there! smile
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/05 07:33 AM

sorry - i am very thick and not as brilliant as the others! :rolleyes:
what is the relationship of this person with knife, whose face we cannot see, with the story of last supper?
is there a story like that somewhere?

is it difficult to accept that it is jesus and 12 disciples and no one else - not even mary? confused

there is no evidence that Leonardo painted anything else. all people are producing is conjecture after conjecture with absolutely no evidence. the only evidence we have seen was the linedrawing of the hand produced by PDM.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/05 08:50 AM

I think it's worth repeating Lisa's comments here (from:http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/handknife.html)

'Since I get tons of questions on this let me first state clearly that obviously this hand is ASSOCIATED with Peter - the guy in purple who is leaning over to talk to "Mary" / John. The reason, historically, that Peter would have had the knife is that in "a later scene", the guards come to take Jesus away. Peter defends Jesus with this knife. So in the storyline, Peter has the knife because he knows danger is coming and he is prepared for it. He is trying to warn Mary/John about that danger, and she is listening calmly.

The "redone" version of the painting has the hand even more firmly connected to Peter's arm. But remember, when they redid the painting, they were trying to recreate something that had mostly fallen apart. So the redone image could easily have mistakes based on false assumptions.

Why Have an Issue with Peter's Hand?
OK, here's the issue. Leonardo was brilliant with anatomy. That was in essence why he was so famous. He was one of the first artists to work with dead bodies and to study muscles, sinews and body structure. A hallmark of his works is his incredibly detailed anatomy. Yes, he couldn't just put a "disembodied hand" floating in the middle of his painting. The people who paid for it would have been quite upset and told him to fix the error. But he was trying to make a point so he was doing it subtly. He deliberately made a hand that was positioned at Judas' back. We all know that Judas is the "bad one". He deliberately made that hand point straight right-to-left, coming out of Judas' back. He made Andrew have a very particular reaction - one that ALL of us recognize as "hands up" that is a response to a direct threat. If you look at that portion of the scene, there is Judas. There is a knife coming directly out of Judas. And there is Andrew with his hands straight up, looking in horror. In fact looking at a zoomed-in image, Andrew's eyes are very clearly looking at Judas.

Leonardo worked on this painting for FOUR YEARS. This wasn't a quick, fly-by-night project. He put years of effort into its design and execution. He did everything very deliberately, from the lighting to the placement of the people to their individual interactions with each other. This hand was NOT some random accident. Its placement was NOT just a random chance.

Leonardo had been jailed by the church for his behavior. He was not exactly in tune with church doctrine, and felt strongly that the people should have more power. Some say this hand-and-knife shows the power the church had at this time in history - especially in da Vinci's native Italy - and their ability to control what was said. People could easily be killed for speaking out against the church.

Can't It Be Peter's Hand?
Yes, the point is that as far as the painting goes it IS Peter's hand. Again, Leonardo can't just put disembodied body parts floating around his painting. He had to have it associate with SOMEONE. But if his sole purpose was to have "Peter has a hand" he could easily have done it in any of a trillion positions that were casual. Instead he did a VERY specific position which is relatively unnatural and strange, and put it in a very specific context.

Remember, there are TONS of tiny details in this painting. Judas has in his right hand a small bag with 30 pieces of silver in it. Leonardo knows this story VERY well and has spent 4 years on its work. He is putting in tiny details to help make the story more clear and to add his own commentary on it.'
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/05 09:42 AM

Relevant excerpt from: ‘Leonardo da Vinci – The Flights of the Mind’ by Charles Nicholl (pages 294-5) [i]‘To trace the making of [the Last Supper] one must first turn to a sheet at Windsor which has an early compositional study in pen and ink. It is still rooted in traditional Last Supper iconography – Judas in the excluded position, seen from behind, on the near side of the table, and St John shown asleep next to Christ, a reference to his leaning on Jesus’s bosom’ when the announcement of betrayal was made. Both these figures would be jettisoned in the final version. ‘There are two separate drawings on the sheet. ….. '[/i] [See: http://gallery.euroweb.hu/html/l/leonardo/07study2/ ] [img]http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=tbn:TWSQDoGQSyUJ:gallery.euroweb.hu/art/l/leonardo/07study2/1lasts2.jpg[/img] [i]‘The other constituent of this smaller sketch is the sleeping figure of St John with Jesus’s arm resting on his back: a note of tenderness which is scriptural – John is the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’ – but in skeptical religious circles John ‘leaning on Jesus’s bosom’ was interpreted in terms of homosexuality….One remembers the Saltarelli episode, with its subtext of official disapproval of effeminate young models being use to depict angels and boyish Christs. Leonardo separated the figures in the final painting, though of all the disciples John remains the youngest and most beautiful. 'A little later, perhaps, is the sketch at the Accademia in Venice .... Judas is still on our side of the table and John is still slumped asleep.’[/i] [`See: http://www.artchive.com/artchive/L/leonardo/leonardo_study_supper.jpg.html ] [img]http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=tbn:EeRbWpFHqWUJ:gallery.euroweb.hu/art/l/leonardo/07study2/1lasts3.jpg[/img] See also: http://cti.itc.virginia.edu/~pb4r/Leonardo/docs/10.01.11-supper.html
Posted By: klaudya

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/05 04:13 PM

good explanation !!
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/05 06:00 PM

did anyone tried the pictures?

here is one:
[img]http://uk.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/somaditya@btinternet.com/detail?.dir=/9738&.dnm=6882.jpg&.src=ph[/img]
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/05 06:02 PM

some one help me - i tried to post a picture unsuccessfully - how do i post a picture from my computer ? confused
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/05 08:43 PM

First, you need to upload it onto a site like www.photobucket.com or www.imageshack.us (or your own website, I imagine) and then you can link to it.
Right click on image.
Copy 'properties'.
Paste between 'open square bracket 'i' close square bracket' & 'open square bracket '/i' close square bracket'
Hope it works!
Posted By: Quandrie

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/23/05 01:00 PM

Hi, glad to have found this site.

As for The Hand: since this painting was done in tempura, and obviously has lost much of its original splendour, I think we must account for the fact that details have become blurred. Or painted over by restorers over the years, and then blurred again. I find that quite a few hands in The Last Supper appear pretty unnatural and over-large. Overall the painting as it appears now seems at odds with the obvious genius of Leonardo's painting and drawing.

I go for the "Mary holding the knife" theory, although the "Unseen Midget being squashed by Peter" holds comic value.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/25/05 12:30 AM

Yes, it must have been restored, and so changed, quite a lot over the years.

But why would Mary be holding that knife?
I'm sure that I have seen, in other versions of 'the Last Supper', Peter holding a knife. I shall have to check that out again. (Is it something to do with a guard's ear being cut off?)

Welcome to the forum, Quandrie
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/25/05 04:29 AM

in this website it is possible to have a look at high resolution images and take a look at the hand holding the knife - clearly it is Peter's. there is nothing to suggest that it is restraining someone else's hand either. just the wrist is bent somewhat unusually. this topic has been discussed elsewhere in this forum.
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000002;p=12
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000002;p=7

http://milano.arounder.com/PROJECTS/SANTA_MARIA_DELLE_GRAZIE/
have a look here too:
http://www.urbanfolkparade.com/found/knife/index.htm
Posted By: Quandrie

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/26/05 01:08 AM

Fair enough, Peter holding the knife makes a lot more sense. I guess my point is that you could see a few strange things into the painting, but what dear Leonardo actually painted on that wall is anybody's guess after such a long time of deterioration, and an unknown amount of changes.
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/26/05 05:00 PM

what a joy - a convert at last wink
Posted By: klaudya

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/26/05 05:16 PM

:-)
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/27/05 09:50 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by klaudya:
:-)
wink does that mean you are a convert too ? wink
Posted By: Krystal

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/07/05 04:59 PM

Ok, I've read many of your posts and ones on other sites. Has no one noticed that the two hands are TWO different colors??? The hand that is supposed to be Peters is dark and the one that is actually holding the knife is light. Tell me how can that be Peters hand doing a wacky turn of the hand?? You can clearly see his hand grabbing what would be the other persons wrist.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/07/05 10:14 PM

Hi. Welcome to the forum Krystal.

I can see this discussion going on & on, ad infinitum! smile
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/08/05 07:10 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by PDM:
Hi. Welcome to the forum Krystal.

I can see this discussion going on & on, ad infinitum! smile
ditto.

hi PDM, do you not feel tired explaining and trying to convince newcomers again and again ? :rolleyes:
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/08/05 07:36 PM

Well, one thing that is clear is that it's not clear to everyone, who that hand, with knife, belongs to.

Based on the sketch, I agree with you Somsuj, and I think it's probably Peter's hand.

I do see the differences in colour, leading to the possibility that one hand is holding the wrist of another, but, on reflection, I think that such differences can be explained by shadow and by time.

Access to large image:
http://milano.arounder.com/PROJECTS/SANTA_MARIA_DELLE_GRAZIE/

Krystal, I wonder, does another look at the large version convince you - in conjunction with the sketch below?

To me, the real question is: did Leonardo intend the hand to cause confusion and lead to questions, or has this happened only as a result of the ravages of time?

Also, even if the hand is Peter's, are there other symbolic meanings hidden in its positioning, etc?
Ie, behind Judas's back? Aimed at Andrew's heart?



From: http://cti.itc.virginia.edu/~pb4r/Leonardo/docs/02.02-drap.html



From: http://www.urbanfolkparade.com/found/knife/

http://milano.arounder.com/PROJECTS/SANTA_MARIA_DELLE_GRAZIE/
Posted By: SpookyMark

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/08/05 09:38 PM

Krystal - so youre suggesting that perhaps it is in fact "mary" holding the knife then?

a)who would "she" be attempting to stick?
b)fairly long arm dont you think?
Posted By: Krystal

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/09/05 12:07 AM

Hello Shinrai,

No i dont think it is marys hand, both of hers on in front of her together. I have no idea whose hand it could be,I just honestly don't think that it could be Peter's. True the color could be do to the lighting, but I highly doubt that.
Posted By: Krystal

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/09/05 12:13 AM

I'm sorry I take it back as I look at really closely and trying to move my arm in that way I now see why it would be two different colors. It is Peters wrist area that we are seeing, it could totally be his hand. Now I feel stupid for thinking it couldn't.When I first looked at it in my head his hand was in a postion that looked impossible, but as I looked closer and realized it is a normal position. So I guess that would be his hand. I'm sorry for sounding ignorant.
Posted By: SpookyMark

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/09/05 03:11 AM

no need for apologies i would think. were all here to look, explore and learn. if i apologised fo rall the times i sounded ignorant id be talking 24 hours a day.

Are those really "marys" hands in front of her?
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/09/05 01:04 PM

another convert - what a joy! wink

shinrai, why do you think those are not the hands of John/Mary M? i was looking at the picture and fail to see anything suspicious. please enlighten me.
Posted By: SpookyMark

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/09/05 01:20 PM

somsuj..... as we might say down here "I was taking the michael" colloquialism for winding up someone, or ven a sarcastic suggestion of furthur conspiracy theory.

Completely innocuous and means nothing.. sorry
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/09/05 01:43 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Krystal:
I'm sorry I take it back as I look at really closely and trying to move my arm in that way I now see why it would be two different colors. It is Peters wrist area that we are seeing, it could totally be his hand. Now I feel stupid for thinking it couldn't.When I first looked at it in my head his hand was in a postion that looked impossible, but as I looked closer and realized it is a normal position. So I guess that would be his hand. I'm sorry for sounding ignorant.
A number of people have made the same suggestion, so it's definitely not stupid!

Who knows. It might even have been the response that Leonardo expected! (It might even be right!!??!! wink )
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/09/05 07:29 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by shinrai:
somsuj..... as we might say down here "I was taking the michael" colloquialism for winding up someone, or ven a sarcastic suggestion of furthur conspiracy theory.

Completely innocuous and means nothing.. sorry
oh! sorry - missed the point.

i am glad it turned out to be a simple joke. i really looked very hard - in the end thought about getting a new lens! laugh
Posted By: x91v3_upx

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/10/05 01:26 AM

ok.. but what i really want to know is- what is peter telling mary?
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/10/05 07:40 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by x91v3_upx:
ok.. but what i really want to know is- what is peter telling mary?
look into bible - you may find the answer. wink

John 13:
21 When Jesus had thus said, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Verily, verily I say unto you that one of you shall betray Me."


22 Then the disciples looked at one another, not knowing of whom He spoke.


23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.


24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom He spoke.


25 He then, leaning on Jesus' breast, said unto Him, "Lord, who is it?"

i think leonardo modified this scene a bit and Peter is asking John 'ask him who is it? i have my knife ready for him!' smile
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/10/05 10:25 AM

Hi and welcome x91v3_upx.
I believe you were the thousandth member? smile
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/10/05 06:59 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by somsuj:

[b]John 13:
[b]23
Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.

25 He then, leaning on Jesus' breast, said unto Him, "Lord, who is it?"
[/b]
Like me, Leonardo seems to have been confused about the relationship between Jesus and 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' - and this is one of the aspects of the painting.

We are led to believe that Jesus loved everyone. We can assume that his disciples were particularly close to him. So maybe Leonardo makes the beloved disciple feminine, yet calls him John, to make us ask: did Jesus have a special love for a particular woman - or even for a particular man?

This isn't really about 'the hand & the knife', but about the biblical scenario within which it is set.

If you have any comments on 'the beloved disciple', I have started a thread here:

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000165
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/11/05 07:08 AM

when i posted this, i noted that John refers to the beloved disciple as he.

in my mothertongue [Bengali] there is no difference between he & she. we use the same word which means either he or she depending on the scenario. does anyone know whether this is the case in Aramaic or Hebrew language ? it may happen [hypothetically] that the ancient translators erroneously translated such an ambiguous 'he/she' to 'he' when making it Greek?
[ have i been able express myself clearly? ]

Also leonardo has kept copious note on many things. many of these has survived. did he make any note of his paintings? if he did, anything about the Last Supper? does anyone know ?
[ i am aware of the sketches - was there anything written ? ]
Posted By: dpenn

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/11/05 09:48 AM

It appears to me (from the high definition pic), that peter is holding the wrist of the person who is holding the knife. Possibly preventing the stabbing of Judas in the back. It also seems he is trying to mollify mary/john with his other hand and it would seem that it is her/his hand that is holding the knife. Some kind of comment on her passion for christ?
Posted By: dpenn

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/11/05 09:57 AM

Looking at the High Resolution Picture, it would see that Peter's little brown hand was holding the wrist of the person with the knife, possibly preventing him or her from stabbing Judas in the back. He is also got his other hand on Mary/john's shoulder, maybe talking to him/her. Is this a comment on the passion of John/mary for jesus and against Judas but restrained by the founder of the Catholic church?

ps, have you noticed how many last supper paintings depict John as the only one without a beard and with curly hair?
Posted By: dpenn

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/11/05 10:09 AM

well, I hadn't seen the sketch and closeup that lisa posted... It appeared the little brown hand might be an oddly shaped part of the painting that got washed out. Its also odd that there is an arm shape underneath it. So peter is holding the knife, might peter be thinking of stabbing judas in the back?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/11/05 08:08 PM

Welcome to the forum dpenn.

With regard to John, it seems that he was considered to be a very young disciple - hence the lack of beard and the feminine look.

However, others have questioned why he has to look quite so feminine, and I have noted elsewhere the similarity between John & Mary Magdalene in some artists' interpretations.


Threads that might be of interest:

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000140
Topic: Why should 'John' look so feminine?

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000180
Topic: Was Mary M at Last Supper?

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000042
Topic: Mary/John

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000259
Topic: The Beloved Disciple

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000204
Topic: Leonardo's depiction of youthful males

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000245
Topic: how the apostle John was usually portrayed
Posted By: x91v3_upx

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/12/05 06:36 AM

Hi and welcome x91v3_upx.
I believe you were the thousandth member?
---------------------------------
hehe i don't know
Posted By: Eva

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/13/05 08:21 PM

What Richard Abanes, the author of the Truth behind the DaVinci Code seems to say is that the hand is Peter's, and that the experts argue that the dagger foreshdows how Peter is going to unsheath the sword in the Garden in order to protect Jesus from the guards that came to take him.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 07/14/05 01:59 PM

Hi, Eva, welcome.
Yes, I think that sounds right, too.
Posted By: justin

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 09/01/05 02:43 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Shea:


JFred - I suppose part of what we have to keep in mind here is that the "basis" for the row of people sitting and eating is off in the first place. That is, look at that painting and then rewind in time to a minute before Jesus speaks. They're all sitting and eating. How could they possibly even fit, the way they are laid out there? If Peter was NOT leaning over to talk to Mary, there's literally no place for him to have a plate in front of him there at the table smile

Never mind on the other side of the table, Thomas (the guy with his finger sticking up into the air) has no place to sit at all either.

so wouldnt you think it john not seen maybe pointing to judus knowing he was the bad one and that hes not seen because peters leaning over to talk to mary plus i see an extra forearm or like the bicepe on the right on judis and that peters arm is holding johns wrist
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 09/01/05 05:56 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by justin:
so wouldnt you think it john not seen maybe pointing to judus knowing he was the bad one and that hes not seen because peters leaning over to talk to mary plus i see an extra forearm or like the bicepe on the right on judis and that peters arm is holding johns wrist

there are 13 people in the picture, the last supper in the Bible describes 13 people being present - Jesus and 12 disciples; if John is not seen, who is the 13th person?

Count the arms in High resolution picture, there are no extra ones.

Look at Peter's forearm and wrist in the High resolution picture - it is twisted a bit unrealistically but is not holding anybody's arm.
Posted By: Veonardo Da Linci

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 09/03/05 11:00 PM

I agree with somsuj that Peter is not holding anybodys hand. When a man is holding anything, he bends his hand into a fist. As we see on the painting the end of Peter's hand is the thinnest part of his arm. it is unnormal the fist to be thinner than the wrist.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 09/03/05 11:45 PM

Hi Justin & Veonardo.
Welcome to the forum.

I think that it is Peter's arm with bent wrist.

However, I do think it is quite possible that there is symbolism in this painting.

Leonardo painted a lot of hands and some of the gestures are very interesting.

I started a thread on this subject here:
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000080#000000
Posted By: Ayath The Loafer

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/06/05 08:21 PM

I am absolutely convinced that it is Peter holding the knife. I am not double jointed but can easily put my hand in that position.

I am also absolutely sure that we have a woman on Jesus's right hand.

As far as I can see there is only one mystery in the picture of the supposedly Last Supper:
Why is there a woman present?

And I read the picture in an entirely different way than most of you guys (and girls).

And if it isn't The Last Supper Leonardo has made his own version of a comic strip.

(Persons in picture speaking).
From right to left:
"Clearly you will see that I'm right about this".
"Yes but I just want you to understand MY views on this topic".
"You two go on and on and on. Don't you ever listen to The Man".
"Jesus. Please tell them that I am the one to be in front tomorrow".
"I'm getting sick and tired of their bickering".
"If I may butt in with this one remark".

"Why all this fuss. Can't you people just eat?"

She is listening very politely to Peter.
"I'll telll yo wat. You are my bestest friend in the hole world".
"Whoa man. Could you leave me some room".
"Be careful with that knife that man".
"Oi Peter. (taps him on the shoulder) Could you put the knife down please".
"Say what?"

Sorry about that. Couldn't help myself. I think Leonardo was poking fun at religion. They asked for The Last Supper and they got a painting they could believe was just that - except that it wasn't.

Ayath
Posted By: Ayath The Loafer

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/06/05 08:30 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by dpenn:
ps, have you noticed how many last supper paintings depict John as the only one without a beard and with curly hair?
Yes. Isn't it odd?

About as odd as the many versions of Jesus as a fair haired nordic type when we all know that the middle eastern type is far from this image.
And that is of course without mentioning that some representations of Christ shows him as black (sorry. Read: African American or even African African).

Ayath
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/06/05 09:40 PM

Welcome Ayath.

I think with 'John', once it was decided that he must be youthful, the rest just followed.

But how do we know that 'the beloved disciple' was the youthful John, anyway?
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/07/05 02:11 AM

I think that is a good point - if Christ can be depicted as a caucasian and nobody says that was not the case ( it certainly did not come to mind - though I was aware of Jesus being a Middle-Eastern ) and are not saying that 'Leonardo did not paint accuratly there'. Why are we then assuming that Leonado depicted John/Mary correctly and it was not his flight of fancy. Leonardo, inspite of his knowledge either did not know what he was painting, or he just painted what was acceptable at the time, or he just painted what the commission wanted of him. There probably was no great mystery at all.
Posted By: Trev's Mum

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/14/05 08:02 AM

OK - my two-penn'orth:

I reckon the hand with the knife is Mary's! Knowing what's about to happen (maternal protective urge), she's just made a move towards Judas's back with the knife - and Peter's actually restraining her, with his right hand gripping the wrist of her knife hand. (The restorer has added definition to show her right arm in front of her, but this is not evident in the pre-restoration version) His right elbow is pointing out of the picture, and he's leaning towards her with his (left) hand on her shoulder, whispering into her ear. She's looking downcast because she realises Peter's right, and it's not for her to intervene.

THIS is what's caused the alarm among the disciples on the left-hand side of the painting. Judas is turning to look behind him, to see what's going on behind him, which the others on the left have witnessed and have reacted with horror.

(Edit: sorry, dpenn, I hadn't seen your post when I wrote the above: basically, I agree with you)
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/14/05 08:48 AM

Oh no not again! It is Peter'ss Hand - look at the pictures.

Good story though! Had a good laugh.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/14/05 06:48 PM

Welcome, Trev's Mum.

Quote:
Originally posted by Trev's Mum:

I reckon the hand with the knife is Mary's! Knowing what's about to happen (maternal protective urge), she's just made a move towards Judas's back with the knife
I was just wondering; do you mean she has a 'maternal protective urge' because she is female, or are you supporting the idea that she might be pregnant with Jesus's child? smile
Posted By: sage

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/16/05 01:48 AM

Ok, so I read through MOST of the posts in this section, and I haven't seen this mentioned. Assume that Peter holds the knife. Da Vinci also associates the knife with Judas. These are the two apostles who betrayed Christ, so it might make sense for Da Vinci to visually "link" them to the knife in a back-stabbing motion. Peter DID use the knife to cut off Malchus' ear later in the night, but he then denied Christ three times before the rooster crowed. Interestingly, this is one of the few stories that's consistent in all of the "accepted" Gospels. Peter's a deliciously complex character: the desciple most likely to be caught up in the moment - he is also the one who attempted to walk on water with Jesus. Perhaps the knife can be seen as originating from Judas' heart, but wielded by a Peter who seems unaware of what his right hand is doing. In this way (along with the Roman coin-purse mentioned by others) Da Vinci was subtly subverting the Catholic church's original symbol/first-supposed-Pope by reminding us of the protection Peter tried to offer, but also of the later betrayal.

Any thoughts? Totally out there? Already hashed over at length?
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/16/05 08:32 AM

That's a very interesting idea - did not think of that before!
Posted By: stretch100

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/16/05 02:45 PM

Hi everyone. I think Peter is holding the knife in this manner....try this, stand up and put the FRONT of your wrists resting on your pelvic hip bone. Bend forward a little, like Peter in the painting, and point your right index finger back backwards. That looks to me to be what Peter's doing as he holds the knife; just keeping it pointed away from the table for safety's sake.
As for what the knife symbolizes in the painting???...well that's why were here. Great job on the site Lisa!
Posted By: mauver

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/16/05 03:36 PM

anyone noticed there is only 1 knife in the picture?
and on the other side of jezus the fish is cut to pieces
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/16/05 05:38 PM

Thanks Stretch100 - ihave been trying to say that for a long time - took some photographs of myself but has been quite lazy to post them.

Yes it is Peter's hand - people tend to misinterprete due to quality of the pictures in the 'net or books.

Welocome to the forum
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/16/05 07:19 PM

Welcome Sage & Stretch.

Stretch, there's a Leonardo sketch which illustrates this position here: http://cti.itc.virginia.edu/~pb4r/Leonardo/docs/02.02-drap.html




Mauver, I've noticed in other versions of the Last Supper that Peter is the only one with a visible knife.
Posted By: mand

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/17/05 07:47 PM

hiya,
I'm new to this so please bear with me after finishing the da vinci code i found this site then i found link to the enlarged "the last supper" when there i noticed Giovanni Donato Montorfano's the crucifixtion now considering this is another piece of work from a totally different artist don't you think it's strange that at the feet of jesus there seems to be an unmistakeably mary/john except you can clearly see this is a female in the crucifixtion which would mean if this is the same person depicted in both paintings it is undoubtedly a female in the last supper? just a thought
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/17/05 08:01 PM

Hi mand - is this the person standing at a little distance from the cross to our right with yellowish garment and Purplish cloak you are talking about ?

Please confirm.
Posted By: mand

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/20/05 03:53 PM

hi there no i mean the woman directly beneath jesus hugging the cross
Posted By: mand

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/20/05 03:57 PM

she is wearing the same clothing as pictured in the last supper blue robe with a red cloak on top and it looks like reddish hair?
Posted By: mand

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/20/05 04:02 PM

oh yeh and one other thing i noticed in the far left of the crucifixtion there is a monk? with a machete through his head and blood trickling down he is standing beside a pope and another monk??? there is a few strange things in this painting though?
Posted By: mauver

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/20/05 05:43 PM

yep i'll see it also...
also on the far right the most left female has a crown of thorns...
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/20/05 08:28 PM

Dear Mand, let us stick to the Figure at the base of the cross - hugging the cross ----

My worry is why you refer to this figure as Mary/John ?
This is clearly a female figure.

Sorry, your suggestion only creats more confusion.
Posted By: Kev

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/22/05 01:43 PM

I don't believe the knife has anything to do with Peter. The knife seems to be a symbol of Judas' betrayal. This is portrayed by Leonardo as a third hand for Judas, showing his hidden agenda. Peter is in no way threatening, his attitude is quite calm, the hand chop to the Mary/John image may be a transitional movement.
Posted By: mand

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/22/05 06:10 PM

the mary/john i refer to is in the last supper this figure in the crucifixtion is definetly female but it bears a remarkable resemblance to the person in the last supper i.e the hair and clothing. sorry for the comfusion
Posted By: mand

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/22/05 06:17 PM

all im really asking is is this the same person in both paintings?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/22/05 10:25 PM

Hi Kev, I supppose that there could be any amount of symbolism involved with that knife, but I do think it's Peter who is holding it - even if a certain amount of ambiguity is intended.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/22/05 10:37 PM

Hi Mand,

I can see what you mean. It could be that they are intended to represent the same person - or it could be coincidence. Was there a secret message to be imparted - or was it just chance?

I think it must be impossible to say for sure.

For those who wish to see these paintings using the 'zoomify' facility, you can access them both here:
http://milano.arounder.com/da_vinci_last_supper/java.html
Posted By: kateyes

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/27/05 09:39 PM

I tried to zoom in on the hand/face etc and things blur out pretty badly, but if you move down after you zoom and try assigning feet to bodies--it becomes pretty clear there is not an extra person squashed in there. Also as you zoom in, may of the hands are unnaturally positioned, look at Thomas with one hand finger pointing upward--but his other (left hand) appears to be clenched on the table--which appears to give him very long arms. Back to the knife--there would appear to be some significance as later painters included it in thier paintings. As an interesting side note did anyone else see the report from the National Gallery in London about the drawing under the Virgin of the Rock. The underpainting is of the Virgin Mary--but has the same face as Philip in the Last Supper!!!! Is there significance to that???? Especially in view of the Grailstar guy who posted a message saying he thought that was Mary Magdalene.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 10/28/05 12:00 AM

Someone did mention the feminine look of 'Philip'.
That's interesting.
Something else to look into!!! smile
Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/08/05 08:57 PM

The scene that we see on the “Last supper” is represented in the Bible:

Quote:
John 13:21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
John 13:22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.
John 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus ' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
John 13:24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
Look carefully at the picture and you will see the exact moment.
The disciples are troubled and wondering who is the traitor.

The one on the right hand side of Jesus is John, which is obvious from verse John 13:23 and all the places where John refers himself as a beloved Jesus' disciple.
John and his brother James were sons of Zebedee and were the youngest disciples.
We can recognize James of Zebedee as the third man staying on Jesus left side. He as well as John doesn't have beard, and their feminine look is to show their youth.

Judas is the one who does not wonder about the traitor, but is fearfully surprised, which is shown in his body position and look.
I don't know how is decided that he holds the bag with 30 silver pieces…!?

On the picture we don't see next events, and therefore there is no wine jar to fill the cup, which was used after the supper and before living the house. (I don't see cup or cups at all... Do you see cups?)

Quote:
Mark 14:23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
Mark 14:24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
Mark 14:25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
Mark 14:26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

Matthew 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Matthew 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
So, the bag with the silver pieces can not be on the picture as event and is too poor as a symbol…
The symbol of betray is the knife hold behind in secret.
Yes wee see both Judas hands, but the “third hand” with the knife is the symbol of duplicity, hatred and cruel plotting.

Who is the one with the hand on John's neck?
That is Peter, and his hand in not on the neck, but on the sholder, pulling him back to ask:
Quote:
John 13:24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
As we see John is not bothered by that, and does not show any inconvenience brought by Peter's words and “hand sign”.

On the left of Jesus we see Thomas and behind him is probably Matthew who shows his forefinger in a question: “Who is that one (traitor)?”, or probably wonder: “One of us!?”

There is much more to say about this picture, but man prefers suckers stories about secrets that are “deeply hidden”.

By the way it is not secret that Jesus had close relation with Maria Magdalena.
In the social rules there is only one young woman who can accompany a mourning mother, and that is her daughter in law.

According to the Bible Maria wasn't disciple, but is referred as one of “certain women”… :
Quote:
Luke 8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
Luke 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
From that “certain women” only Maria was accompanying Jesus' mother, and obviously she had a strong reason to do it…

Love to All
Truden
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/08/05 11:18 PM

Hi. Welcome Truden.

Yes, there is similar info posted on Lisa's Da Vinci Code pages.

There is a highlighted link to them at the beginning of the list of threads.

The story represented:
http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/lastsupper.html

Names of disciples:
http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/names.html

The hand & the knife:
http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/handknife.html

It is the latter that is mainly being discussed here, and, as you say, there seems to be some symbolism represented by it as well as a straightforward reason for it being there.

Re John being Mary; the Bible does not say that the beloved disciple was John - so perhaps it was Mary. It's very interesting that you should imply that she must have been Mary's daughter-in-law.

Since you agree that there is symbolism in the picture, and that Mary Magdalene was very special to Jesus, I'm wondering what the 'suckers' stories are'. I really don't think that such an insulting description is suitable here, actually.
Posted By: Squeekychiimp

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/08/05 11:33 PM

My goodness PDM!

I certainly have heard worse on this forum than someone calling Leonardo's hidden secrets, "sucker stories".

Give Truden a break!
Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/09/05 04:12 PM

Reading John's Gospel, we can see that John when speaking about himself uses “the other disciple”
(Excuse me for the long quotes, please.)
Quote:
John 18:15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.
John 18:16 But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.

John 20:2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
John 20:3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
John 20:4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
John 20:5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
John 20:6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
John 20:7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
John 20:8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

John 21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
John 21:7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

John 21:20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee ?
John 21:21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee ? follow thou me.
John 21:23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee ?
John 21:24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
From verse John 21:20 we see that “this disciple” was on the right hand side of Jesus during the last supper.
From verse John 21:24 is clear that “this disciple” wrote the Gospel (of John).

So it is MORE than clear that the one that is on the right hand side of Jesus is John.

According to the scriptures that is not Maria Magdalena, because on the last supper there were only the disciples and Jesus:

Quote:
Mark 14:12 And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover ?
Maria wasn't disciple, according to the four Gospels!!!
The last supper painting is made following the Bible story, and there is no place for arguments about who is on the painting.
We could doubt something if the moment on the painting wasn't that clear about the moment from the story: “One of you will betray Me”

Now, you could say that Leonardo has put some of his beliefs in the picture, but that would be your interpretation and guess…

Although the world is astonished by Braun's bestseller, I would say that he doesn't shine with much intellectual power and writing gift.

His weakness to unfold the story without using dialogs is obvious.
Some of the dialogs are so descriptive, that they look like botches all over the book.

His attempts to manipulate the facts and to imply doubtful answers about them are absolute fiasco. (At least for me they are fiasco)

Pity that such a xxxx became cause for such an “intellectual” discussions…

Some suckers think that they will elevate man, by lowering Jesus to man's values.
Wrong, my friends!!!
Not the material life of Jesus makes Him God.
It is the Spirit in Him that gave Him the Throne in the Kingdom of The Father.

Man has the birth from the Water.
God has the Birth from The Spirit.

Quote:
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Posted By: Squeekychiimp

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/09/05 07:51 PM

Hey Truden,

I tried buddy but you're probably gonna get hammered by the boss again....should have taken the hint! Perhaps you should leave the word 'suckers' out of your vocabulary...

And the whole point of this thread is to discuss the what ifs in the painting. No one is stating these ideas are fact. After all, a forum's purpose is to discuss and debate issues. You have stated your side but the premise of Leonardo using secret messages in his paintings is not a novel idea started here...do some research, you will see.
Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/09/05 08:37 PM

He-he…
The “sucker” word is my favorite description of ignorance.
I don't have problem with that word, and if some of you guys have that problem, you must ask yourself “WHY”.

Also, I don't think that “Leonardo's secret issue” started in this forum, and I don't deny that there might be something that could be discussed in that meter, but my postings are about “Last supper” painting, which “secrecy” lately was exploited in Dan Braun's book.

And one more thing: I think that liberated mind that can accept Braun's ideas, revealed in his books, should also be able to accept the possibility to deal with even more liberated mind, which sees most of the people as suckers.

It is nice to chat to you guys... Indeed.
Posted By: Squeekychiimp

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/09/05 08:51 PM

[quote] [b]Truden:The “sucker” word is my favorite description of ignorance.[/b] [/quote]Ummm, perhaps you are ignorant to the fact that the man's name is Brown, Dan Brown. :D ;)
Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/09/05 10:01 PM

You did probably noticed, my friend, that I'm not English but Bulgarian.
So, excuse my ignorance in English names, but whether is “Braun” or “Brown”, it is the same ignorant man wink laugh
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/09/05 10:55 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Truden:
He-he…
The “sucker” word is my favorite description of ignorance.
I don't have problem with that word, and if some of you guys have that problem, you must ask yourself “WHY”.


My problem with it is that I consider it impolite. I really don't think we need that sort of thing on the forum. Debate & discussion are what this site is all about, so you cannot accuse anyone of following a path of ignorance here.

Also, I don't think that “Leonardo's secret issue” started in this forum, and I don't deny that there might be something that could be discussed in that meter, but my postings are about “Last supper” painting, which “secrecy” lately was exploited in Dan Braun's book.

There may or may not be coded secrets - I can't be sure about that, but the possibilities are interesting to consider.

And one more thing: I think that liberated mind that can accept Braun's ideas, revealed in his books, should also be able to accept the possibility to deal with even more liberated mind, which sees most of the people as suckers.

Who exactly is this 'liberated mind' and who exactly are your 'suckers'?

It is nice to chat to you guys... Indeed.

Perhap you should read through some of the other discussions, before drawing conclusions. smile
Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/10/05 05:45 AM

You ask me do go off topic, but that will reveal one of the secrets of knowing people, PDM.

The fastest way to get to know some one is to put him/her in extreme situation.
The use of “sucker” word brings such a situation, because it goes against the moral values of people.
So throwing that word without directly pointing it to anybody I observe the reaction of the people.

Spiteful people and people with big ego got caught by the chance to feed the wrath in themselves, which they enjoy when is unleashed. Such a people do not miss the chance to concentrate on the “sucker” word…

On the contrary – good people, with Love in themselves do not pay attention to the “offensive” way of using that word.
They get it very light and with sense of humor, or with compassion for the man that uses it.

Now you tell me "who exactly are my 'suckers'"
Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/10/05 07:44 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Squeekychimp:
you are mainly a game player
Bingo-o-o-o... laugh
Posted By: Lucky Da Vinci

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/10/05 11:32 AM

don't you think you really strayed from the point of why you actually came in here???
Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/10/05 12:26 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Lucky Da Vinci:
don't you think you really strayed from the point of why you actually came in here???
The moderator pushed me to do so.
He requested some answers and I had to give them…

Now back to the point of this discussion – do you see weak points in my explanation?
If you do see such points, let's discuss them.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/10/05 08:45 PM

First, I am not a he.

Second, I wondered who was being referred to as the 'suckers'. That is not off-topic, since Truden brought it into the topic and I like to understand things clearly.

Third, I am the moderator and I try to ensure that all is polite and in order. I want to be absolutely certain that the word 'sucker' is not directed at anyone here on the forum, because that would be against the rules.

Now, I do see weak points:

According to the Bible, Mary Magdalene was a disciple. I don't think there is anything to argue about there. She just wasn't one of 'the twelve'.

We do not know the identity of 'the disciple whom Jesus loved'. There is little or no evidence that it was John. (There are already threads on this subject.) It could have been Mary Magdalene.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/11/05 09:22 AM

Here's a thread on The Last Supper: http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000246#000002 Here's one on the Beloved Disciple: http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000259#000000 And another: http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000165#000000 There are, of course, at least two subject areas discussed in Truden's posts: The Bible story of 'The Last Supper'. Leonardo's painting of 'The Last Supper'. And both cause us to ask questions. I see one intriguing aspect of both to be 'the disciple whom Jesus loved'. Why, in the Bible, is he / she described like that and not by name? How did Leonardo portray this disciple? Did Leonardo consider this to be a strange description, as I do? Is this why it is difficult to tell whether the person in question is male or female? I wonder, would people of Renaissance times have had the same problem? Might they have wondered why Leonardo placed a woman in the picture? Or would they have simply assumed, as most people do, that this was a boy and boys can look a bit feminine? Or did he look masculine to their eyes? I don't think that we are being gullible, if we ask these questions, rather than take the picture at face value. Even if we do take the picture as a direct representation of the Bible story, as quoted above by Truden, I still think that there are questions: Who was the beloved disciple? Why is the hand with the knife painted as it is? Why does one of the disciples - one 'at centre stage' - have an uplifted finger placed almost in the face of Jesus? Why, if the Bible says that the beloved disciple was leaning on Jesus, does Leonardo portray 'him' as pulling away? There are questions included in the picture and possibly symbolism, too. The Renaissance was a time for including symbolism in paintings. I think it makes sense for us to ask what Leonardo might be trying to tell us. However, we may never decipher it - and, indeed, there might be nothing for us to decipher. It's interesting all the same. Truden, you see symbolism in the painting, yet appear to feel that others who interpret such potential symbols may be gullible: [b]'The symbol of betray is the knife hold behind in secret. Yes wee see both Judas hands, but the “third hand” with the knife is the symbol of duplicity, hatred and cruel plotting.' 'There is much more to say about this picture, but man prefers suckers stories about secrets that are “deeply hidden”.'[/b] I don't think we can know, for sure, whether all of Leonardo's symbols are obvious or hidden. Discussing the possibilities is rewarding. Some people may draw far-fetched conclusions, of course, but we don't actually know what is right. Truden, you seem to think that Mary Magdalene could have been the wife of Jesus, so I'd like to know what it is that you feel is far-fetched but that gullible people are believing?
Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/11/05 09:32 AM

About the “sucker word”: I wrote what I wrote, and it is clear to be understood.

There were many followers of Jesus, that had following Him in His journey between the cities, but in the Bible as disciples are referred only twelve (the twelve apostles)

I fully agree that Mary Magdalene was disciple, but that is not according to the Bible.
The painting that we discuss is biblical scene and we must discuss it in that light.

Your statement that it is not clear who was the 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' is already explained HERE

Where is the weakness of that explanation?
Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/11/05 10:00 AM

Quote:
Truden, you seem to think that Mary Magdalene could have been the wife of Jesus, so I'd like to know what it is that you feel is far-fetched but that gullible people are believing? [/QB]
What I see in Dan Brown's book, is something that you could see it in the Bible, but Brown put it in completely different light.

One thing to know: The Truth in the Bible is not the truth of the church.

The church may say that Jesus did not touch woman, but that is not said in the Bible.
Surely Jesus wasn't virgin…

Although the church did choose the books in the Bible according to the church canon (church's understanding), they couldn't hide the fact that Mary Magdalene was very close to Jesus: so close that was accompanying His mother.

The four gospels were not changed, except in the places marked with cursive letters and [ ] ( ). Putting commas in many places could change the meaning of the text, but that is not a big deal, if you understand the rest. (If you understand the Bible you would know where to put the comma…)

Dan Brawn's book is based on the hidden by the church feminine base of the Religion (or Life, or part of the Absolute)

It is not hidden in the Bible, my friends.
One of the most beautiful books in the Bible is “The Song of Songs”, which is the greatest praise of the feminine half.

It is not what do you belief, but how you belief it.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/11/05 10:46 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Truden:
About the “sucker word”: I wrote what I wrote, and it is clear to be understood.

Well, I'm sorry, but it's not clear to me.

There were many followers of Jesus, that had following Him in His journey between the cities, but in the Bible as disciples are referred only twelve (the twelve apostles)

I fully agree that Mary Magdalene was disciple, but that is not according to the Bible.


I think that, since the Bible has been translated many times, a lot depends on those translations. Couldn't 'follower' have been translated as 'disciple'?

The Bible says that Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple, but I don't think he was one of the twelve?

'Matthew 27:56-58 (New International Version)
56Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.

57As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.'


The painting that we discuss is biblical scene and we must discuss it in that light.

It is also just a painting - an interpretation of a Biblical scene - not the Biblical scene itself. No-one alive was at that meal, so no-one really knows who was there and what exactly happened.

Your statement that it is not clear who was the 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' is already explained HERE

Where is the weakness of that explanation?


Have you looked at the threads I linked to? I think that there is little or no evidence to say that 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' was named John.

There are theories that it was Mary Magdalene and that it was Lazarus. Where is the evidence that it was John? Where is the evidence that John even wrote the 4th Gospel? There is the theory that it might have been written by Mary Magdalene.

Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/11/05 01:30 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by PDM:
There is the theory that it might have been written by Mary Magdalene.
Quote:
John 21:21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee ? follow thou me.
John 21:23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee ?
John 21:24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
English language is not descriptive about the gender when verb is used in the sentence.
When you say “I was asleep” nobody knows whether you are male or female.
It is not like that in all the languages.
Now, make a research and see how this is in Greek and Hebrew and the mixture between Greek and Hebrew that was used in that time.

Yet, from the above quotes of the John's gospel it is clear that the writer of the gospel was male.
Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/11/05 02:41 PM

OK, this discussion is not of my interest anymore…
I mean, it is not based on serious facts and therefore I feel stupid to discuss it.

A doubt arises when you see none logical covering of the event facts, and the information provided about the facts and the events.

You can not just suck out from your fingers the doubt that John's gospel might not be written by John…
Which fact brings you to that doubt?
Which fact is in dissonance with the rest of the facts???

A feminine look of a man from a painting, made one thousand and few hundred years later is not a serious reason to draw that conclusion.

I see that you like such a discussions, and before to live you, I'd like to give you another conundrum:
Why the first on Jesus' left hand side is surprised by the look of His hand?

Wish you nice time smile
It was nice to chat to you guys wink

Cheers
Posted By: Strik3n

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/11/05 05:59 PM

Hello I was Just THinking about some stuff and I was reading your post win I tock a look at the Pictour of the last supperand Hers My Info On it THe Bibbel Seas Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.

--Matthew 26

Loock at Jesuses Hand and the Hand to the left Of mary And then look at the Small silver Bow / Dish aka"dippeth his hand with me in the dish" Does that Help
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/12/05 12:17 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Truden:
OK, this discussion is not of my interest anymore…
I mean, it is not based on serious facts and therefore I feel stupid to discuss it.


It is based on people's thoughts about a Renaissance painting. What facts can we use?

The painting supposedly tells part of the story of the Last Supper. We have a Bible story there - no proven facts.

A doubt arises when you see none logical covering of the event facts, and the information provided about the facts and the events.

I'm sorry, I don't follow this. I think our conversations are quite logical, though, if that is what you mean. We discuss 'facts' and potential 'facts'. But we must be careful not to confuse 'fact' with 'opinion' or 'belief'.

You can not just suck out from your fingers the doubt that John's gospel might not be written by John…
Which fact brings you to that doubt?
Which fact is in dissonance with the rest of the facts???


Neither can you assume that something is fact simply because that is what you believe. Did you look at the threads I linked to? There you would have discoverd a reference to a theologian who believes that the beloved disciple was Lazarus - and he gives his reasons for not accepting that it was John. This subject is a matter of theological debate. The experts do not have all the answers. I certainly don't and I don't think that you can assume that you have 'the facts'.

The Gospels may or may not have facts in them. They contradict each other at times. They are not reliable proof, though they may be classed as evidence for the basis of research and debate.

A feminine look of a man from a painting, made one thousand and few hundred years later is not a serious reason to draw that conclusion.

But the feminine man is not the only reason for asking questions. It is just that Brown has used this in his book to draw people's attention to the possibility that Leonardo may have intended to portray Mary Magdalene as the beloved disciple.

Since you believe that Mary could have been Jesus's wife, then you must see that it is a logical conclusion to draw - and so Leonardo might possibly have believed it, too, and painted this accordingly.

No-one is suggesting that Leonardo was a witness to the actual meal. We are just wondering why a young man would look like a young woman. Did Leonardo really intend to portray an effeminiate John? Or was he suggesting to us that the beloved of Jesus was / may have been a woman? Or is it deliberately ambiguous?

I see that you like such a discussions, and before to live you, I'd like to give you another conundrum:
Why the first on Jesus' left hand side is surprised by the look of His hand?


I think you must be referring to what some people call 'the John gesture'. It is something of a puzzle, but it is a motif in many of Leonardo's paintings, as well as those of other artists of the time.

Wish you nice time smile
It was nice to chat to you guys wink

Cheers


It is always interesting to discuss and debate matters, especially when opinions differ.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/12/05 12:32 AM

Hello strik3n. Welcome.

Here's a link which gives access to a large version of The Last Supper:
http://milano.arounder.com/da_vinci_last_supper/fullscreen.html

What I see here is the part of the Bible story that you describe - Jesus and Judas about to put their hands in the same bowl.

I think that is one of the most straightforward parts of the painting.

The questions that spring to my mind about Leonardo's depiction (of something he did not, of course, witness) are - why some of the disciples look feminine / whether Leonardo decided to depict females present or whether they are all male; whether the positioning of Peter's hands hold some special symbolic meaning - the hand with the knife / the hand across John / Mary's neck; why Thomas is doing that special hand gesture in Jesus's face - a gesture that Leonardo incorporates in a number of works; why John / Mary looks like 'The Virgin of the Rocks'; why 'the beloved disciple' is not leaning on Jesus, but, rather, pulling away from him.

These are my issues with the painting.

We must keep reminding ourselves, though, that, while the bible verses are associated with the painting and relevant to it and the image is based on the words, the two are not the same thing. They are two separate items - a written story & and a painted story.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/12/05 01:40 AM

[quote]Originally posted by Truden: [b] ...You can not just suck out from your fingers the doubt that John's gospel might not be written by John… Which fact brings you to that doubt? Which fact is in dissonance with the rest of the facts??? ...[/b][/quote]I've quoted this elsewhere as well, but it shows that theologiands do not all believe that John was the Beloved Disciple and / or the authour of the 4th Gospel: [i]'There is a very good, thought-provoking, essay on the beloved disciple (who he believes is Lazarus) and the fourth gospel, by Vernard Eller, here: http://www.hccentral.com/eller8/part2.html#john Here are some extracts: The Fourth Gospel (commonly known as John) The most notable finding of this study will he how different the Fourth Gospel is from the Synoptics; … little actual connection or parallel between the two lines of tradition. … the Fourth Gospel's explicit acknowledgment of a special disciple-group known as "the twelve" is confined essentially to a single passage, which very passage also pointedly uses the term "disciples" to apply to more than just "the twelve" http://www.hccentral.com/eller8/part3.html the Fourth Gospel itself contains not the slightest hint that John-Z is its man. …if .. the Fourth Gospel has to provide its own answer, then there is only one person who comes close to qualifying as the Beloved Disciple. Either the Beloved Disciple is Lazarus—or else we don't have a ghost of a clue as to who is. If "Lazarus" is the given answer, the case is subtle... All the Gospel's mentioning of Lazarus …occurs from 11:1 through l2:19--.. the pivotal passage of the Writer's finely constructed Gospel. … Jesus is already in Judea, in the environs of Jerusalem.., "across the Jordan at the place where John been baptizing earlier" (Jn. 10:40… "Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany" (Jn. 11:1). And when his sisters .. inform Jesus, the message they send "Lord, he whom you love is ill" (Jn. 11:3). That subtle line, recall, given us by the same subtle Writer who will from this point forward keep us subtly reminded of "the disciple whom Jesus loved." And it is only these two people (or one person), Lazarus and the Beloved Disciple, regarding whom the Writer ever uses this language. … .. if .. you missed the significance of verse 3, the Writer .. several more times. "Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus" (Jn. 11:5). In verse 11 Jesus says to the Galilean Twelve, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep… "Jesus began to weep" (Jn. 11:35). "So the Jews said, 'See how he loved him!'" (v.36). This last notice is of particular importance. .. Lazarus performs a function in the Fourth Gospel for which the Synoptics .. have no equivalent--.. he is the point of contact between Jesus and the Jewish dignitaries ... The Galilean Twelve of the Synoptic tradition just do not have the wherewithal for bringing the gospel to--or expressing it for--that intellectual community. … .. in the Fourth Gospel, Lazarus is the only named disciple of whom it is also said that Jesus loved him, we have set up the hypothesis that Lazarus is indeed the Beloved Disciple… The Fourth Gospel .. presents Nicodemus, Lazarus, and Joseph of Arimathea as ... a type the Synoptics .. do not know--.. truly devout yet open-minded Jewish leaders of the educated, cultured upper-class. .. . the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and "Lazarus" enables the Writer to make a theological point completely impossible for the Synoptic writers. Where did this welcoming crowd of Jerusalem believers and disciples come from? …." The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him" (Jn. 12:17-18). … "The Jews" he condemns would be colleagues from his own intellectual and official circles--and by no means all of them. ... A few days later, at the supper honoring Jesus, the account states that a "great crowd of the Jews" were on hand because of their interest not only in Jesus but also in Lazarus. … The only "Jews" who give Lazarus trouble are those of his colleagues who have always been on his back. Undoubtedly .. as they had razzed Nicodemus about being a follower of Jesus: "Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? Has any one of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?" (Jn. 7:47-48). "Surely, you are not also from Galilee, are you?" (Jn. 7:52). And there would be a … very convincing link if ... Lazarus's sister Mary (hereafter Mary-L) and Mary Magdalene .. be the same woman. ... there is nothing that adds up to a positive identification of Mary-L as Mary Magdalene. But .. neither is anything said that would .. discourage, the identification. .. .. I find four subtle hints that Mary-L and Mary Magdalene are to be considered the same person: 1. The anointing woman that the Fourth Gospel positively identifies as "Mary-L" Luke may know as "Mary Magdalene." 2. Mary-L would fit very naturally into every scene the Fourth Gospel gives Mary Magdalene--particularly if, at the cross, it is the case that Lazarus and his sister Mary are offering Jesus' mother a home in Bethany. (This makes more sense than reading the scene as if the Fourth Gospel, of all books, is having John-Z--who likely wasn't even there--take her off to Galilee.) 3. The scene with Jesus and Mary Magdalene in the garden as much as asks to be read in continuity with the scene of Jesus and Mary-L at Bethany (and the other Jesus/Mary scene in Luke). 4. Perhaps the strongest clue of all is the situation the chart makes graphic--namely, that the Fourth Gospel has carefully paired a Mary (Mary-L) with its LAZARUS in certain episodes and thereafter paired a Mary (Mary Magdalene) with its BELOVED DISCIPLE in certain episodes. This pattern could hardly be coincidental; it must be an effort to tell us something. * * * At the Last Supper (Jn. 13): If it is John-Z who is lying on Jesus' breast and with whom even Peter must confer to get to us, this suggests favoritism that could produce jealousy among the Twelve and could cause trouble among those who have just inadmissibly been fighting for power among themselves. However, if that disciple is the man who, just a matter of days earlier, Jesus had raised from the dead, and if he were no one who ever had or ever would live and travel with the Twelve in any case, then my guess is that everyone present would have been eager to have him in the place of special honor, perhaps even willing to address him as "the disciple whom Jesus loves." In the courtyard of the high priest (Jn. 18:12-27): Considering the high level of Jewish connections that this Gospel attributes to Lazarus, it is not surprising that he knew the high priest and could walk right into the court where Jesus was being tried--and had enough influence to get Peter in, too. However, it is a little hard to believe that the Galilean fisherman John-Z could have pulled this off. At the cross (Jn. 19:23-37): It is plausible to read this scene as showing Lazarus and his sister Mary--in the company of Jerusalem women--offering Jesus' mother a home in Bethany, with Jesus naming this very special individual (rather than any one member out of his Galilean group) as the son of his mother. This makes much better sense--particularly in the Fourth Gospel--than having John-Z in the role, especially when the Synoptics indicate that the Galilean Twelve had all fled. At the empty tomb (Jn. 20:1-18): That Mary should run to tell her brother Lazarus and Peter about Jesus, and that the two of them should race each other to the tomb--such a scenario fits the Fourth Gospel pattern of "Jerusalem discipleship and Galilean discipleship" to a T. If, however, the scene is read such that Mary tells John-Z and Peter about Christ, and they race to the tomb, the scene carries no symbolic significance at all, since those two men represent the same thing. With the risen Christ on the seashore (Jn. 21): Recall that this chapter is the special appendix that seems to have been added to follow the Gospel's original conclusion. That means this scene is already somewhat set apart from the others. And, in terms of historical plausibility, I admit that it isn't easy to fit Lazarus into this scene--into a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. John-Z would be much more of a natural for this one. However, if this chapter is read as a theological construction, its latter half becomes the strongest pointer to Lazarus that could be found. And because the Writer's primary interest throughout the Gospel has been theological construction, here we should probably go with a "Lazarus reading" and handle the historical plausibility as best we can. In the "feed my sheep" dialogue (Jn. 21:15-19), Jesus commissions Peter--and through him, the Galilean Twelve--to the great apostolate that subsequently proceeded from them. Yet when, in verses 20ff., Peter turns to ask, "Lord, what about him [Lazarus]?" Jesus in effect responds, "That's no business of yours, Peter. You have your assignment, and I will do with Lazarus and his 'apostoiate to the Jerusalem intelligentsia' as I choose." .. consider .. in the whole of Gospel tradition; would there be any reason for a "saying" about "not dying" to attach itself to any of them except Lazarus? Only he is both the disciple about whom it is explicitly said that Jesus loved him and the one whose very existence was owed to Jesus' miraculous communication of a special quality of life people might easily assume could have no end. … '[/i]
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/12/05 09:59 AM

Gosh! i am late in attending this discussion and i will feel unlucky if truden does not come back - as a lot of what he said, i agree with. there is a lot i do not agree with as well. now if one wants to learn a foreign language - esp after maturation - people usually learn the slang. i certainly will not recommend words like sucker in discussion like this - it is offensive. i do not think Leonardo's painting actually portrays the Biblical description - it would have been uncharacteristic of Leonardo, painting it without his personal touch. I also think young boys may look feminine and too much is discussed on John's look - i wonder if he knew whether he will be so famous for his looks. re authorship of Gospels - i plan a separate post - hope i can do it soon enough. I wonder why truden says [quote] Surely Jesus wasn’t virgin… [/quote]what was the proof / hint etc ? :confused: :confused:
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/12/05 10:02 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by mand:
all im really asking is is this the same person in both paintings?
I am sorry mand - i did not realise your intention - i guess no one can answer you adequately!

cheers smile
Posted By: Truden

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/12/05 11:05 PM

Dear friends,

I don't want to leave this forum, living in you the feeling that I wanted to offend you, as suckers.

I see that since I wrote that word it became a sharp point in your postings…

There are many things to learn in the life, but very few of them are really important.
One of those things is: You get offended only when you identify yourselves with the subject of the offense.

I did not point the “sucker” word to any of you, but it seams that many of you have found in themselves something that refers to the word…
It is you that are offending yourselves, my friends.

Surely there are suckers out there, and therefore the word and the meaning of the slang exists. If you feel that you share sucker's understanding, just thing of yourselves as gullible, as I see that you like better this word…

So, my friends, I'm sure that you don't thing that you know everything, and if you are far from the “everything” knowledge, it means that you are still on milk… and suckers you are. That understanding is much better for you and much closer to the humility.
It gives space in you for new knowledge.
Try to be wide spaced.

Not in the last place, you can take me for a sucker, and don't mention that word anymore, for the more you pronounce it, the closer you get to it…

----------------------------

About the theory that Lazarus is the beloved disciple:

Quote:
John 11:3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
You don't really think that Jesus who said “Love your enemy” had loved one only person in His life, do you?

The above quote does not state “THE ONLY one whom thou lovest”, because it wouldn't be true statement.

In our discussion we are not talking about some one whom Jesus loved, but about DISCIPLE whom Jesus loved.

Therefore I would say that the above argument sucks…
Sorry to say it…

I feel somehow lucky that I forgot to cancel the mail notification about postings in the tread, and I came back to say all this.

Love to All
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/13/05 12:15 AM

Actually, Truden, I think people are offended when they hear anyone being referred to using an offensive term.

Now back to the discussion. This thread is really about 'the Hand & the Knife', rather than 'the beloved disciple' so I shall continue the discussion here:

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=6&t=000259#000010
Posted By: TxsScotsman

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/24/05 06:40 AM

Truden you seem to be a student of religion, yet so judgmental...are you only a student or do you believe as well. If you believe then please act appropriatley.
I believe that when Da Vinci experimented with this new paint and style he may have taken the opportunity to experiment with symboliism as well. The 3rd arm being Judas' betrayal and Peter's hand holding it back in an attempt to protect the lord. I also believe that it is John next to Jesus, not Mary. Peter is leaning over to ask John (described as "the one whom Jesus loved") to ask Jesus who the betrayer is. The bond that Jesus had with John was different than that of the other disciples. John had baptized Jesus, he was there when Jesus truly realized he was the messiah. The word he used was also agape, not love, which is an all encompassing love from God, which he may of said because he was allowed the seat next to Jesus' right hand. I now realize that I am rambling...I apologize!
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/24/05 10:54 PM

Hi Scotsman. Welcome to the forum.

I think Leonardo could well have been using symbolism. I'm not sure that we can know quite how it should be interpreted, however.

Re the person sitting next to Jesus. This is most definitely Leonardo's interpretation of 'the disciple whom Jesus loved'. But who was that disciple? There is little or no evidence to say that it was John. Have you read the thread on the beloved disciple? You will see a number of the arguments for and against, there.

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=6&t=000259#000010

As for John baptising Jesus, that was his cousin John the Baptist. The John referred to here is John, the son of Zebedee. He is believed to have been very young, so it could have been that Jesus had a soft spot for him because he was vulnerable perhaps, but there is no real hint of this in the Bible, our only source of information.
Posted By: timbolan71

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/24/06 01:54 AM

I think the hand is the right hand of Mary,and she and Jesus already knew who would betray him,therefore she is threatening Judas with the dagger and Peter is restraining her arm,and wispering in her ear trying to stop her,at that very moment Mary M is telling us who will betray her companion,Jesus....if her arm were stretched straight out trying to reach Judas,the angle of the hand and knife would fit perfectly.I think the distance between the knife and Mary is meant to represent her strong desire to stop Judas,but Peter will not allow it.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/24/06 03:02 AM

Hi Timbolan.
Welcome.
It looks as if there might be as many interpretations as there are people who wish to find one.
Posted By: timbolan71

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/24/06 10:54 PM

Hello PDM,
Maybe that was the intention all along,to have people talking about it all these years later,
like a never ending cliff hanger....brilliant!
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/29/06 04:07 AM

I think that could well be true. We shall never know, but Leonardo was obviously very intelligent and he may have been including messages in his work.
Posted By: rain&me

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/05/06 08:39 AM

v. interesting site.. lotsa debates, opinons shared..

i chanced upon this site after my read on Da Vinci Code.. If there is indeed another man in the picture... the Scenario might be somehow like this: Peter was pushing his way thru to speak to "Mary" or "John"... in the midst, he "may have" pressed upon the missing man whom everyone is debating on, resulting in a werid way the knife was held..?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/06/06 12:16 PM

Hi rain&me. Welcome to the site.

Glad you are enjoying the discussions.

Re 'he "may have" pressed upon the missing man', well, yes, I suppose there 'may be' lots of possibilities, but I think that they tend to take things too far, really.

It doesn't mean that these suggestions are wrong; just that it would be impossible to discuss them, I think.
Posted By: Frosty*Sonny*Cloud

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/07/06 12:39 AM

I don't agree, if you were to interview the writer of the book, I am guessing he would tell you that the book is completely fiction, it had some real things in it, but most of it was fiction, you can create what ever you want to believe, but it doesn't prove it as real or fake. Remember fiction?
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/07/06 06:41 AM

Frosty - this is a 20-page discussion about the painting on a wall smile If you're going to argue about the validity of the book, there are other threads that discuss that.

I still need to do a photo of myself in that hand-holding-knife position. I've been wanting to do that for MONTHS. In fact, let's have a call to action. Everyone who reads this thread - have someone take a picture of you holding a knife like that and post it. Let's see if this is anatomically possible.
Posted By: Tera

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/12/06 11:33 PM

I too agree the hand with the knife to be natural... as if he is resting his hand on his hip. I think that what people are seeing is their eyes playing tricks on them... the shadow that one is misconstruing to be another arm is actually the curve of the pouch that he is wearing...As for its purpose, I agree with someone above that it looks as if there is a plate in front of him that is seafood... perhaps, some type of shellfish thus the use of a knife to pry open... As for the female depiction of John... I am still in awe... is it possible and forgive my lack of knowledge of the Holy Bible, that if Mary Magdalene is depicted in the Last Supper that her and John is one in the same? I read on the internet that in those times it was rare for a woman to travel with a band of men unless she was married to one of them... could she at times of controversy posed as John? Dear Lord; I intend no blasphemy… so please forgive me for my ignorance!
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/13/06 08:22 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Shea:
Frosty - this is a 20-page discussion about the painting on a wall smile If you're going to argue about the validity of the book, there are other threads that discuss that.

I still need to do a photo of myself in that hand-holding-knife position. I've been wanting to do that for MONTHS. In fact, let's have a call to action. Everyone who reads this thread - have someone take a picture of you holding a knife like that and post it. Let's see if this is anatomically possible.
this is a suggestion i gave long long ago no one showed the enthusiasm to do it.

professionally - i can say that it is anatomically possible.

here is the proof :

and here is Da Vinci himself :
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/14/06 02:32 AM

Very good. I believed it all along!
Posted By: Alial

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/16/06 11:59 AM

Hi everybody. Great discussions, I have been reading for hours... Looking at the pictures of the painting, I see that there are at least two different ones from the last supper. The people are different, the colours of their clothes etc. Are you discussing one in particular or are they the same when the hand/knife comes into consideration? My computer is to dark to see things in great detail... Especially the one in the church (zoom in pic) is very dark.
But all that said, I think Leonardo was very smart. He defenately made us think. Have you ever heard about "figure and background"? Well, it's all about perception. Some see the vase and some see the faces. I think these paintings do the same for us. Some see the knife held by Peter, some by Mary/ John. And some see it coming from loose air or Judas' back.. Perception... BUt if we see it, so must the people at the time?? Isn't there dokuments from the time discussing it?

Regards, Alial
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/16/06 03:39 PM

Hi Tera and Alial. Welcome to the forum.

I wonder if Leonardo ever guessed that his 'Last Supper' would cause so much discussion?
Or maybe that was his intention all along?
Posted By: Alial

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/17/06 08:03 AM

Thank you PDM.
I think Leonardo did want to make us think about something... I don't believe, smart as he was, wantet to make "just another nice painting", but something spectacular. And he did! And not just the one painting, but also Mona Lisa, Madonna/Virgin in the grotto and more. Lots of symbolism in them. He truly was genious.
Have you looked at the different LS paintings? Do you know how many there is and where they are?
Putting some links here if it's ok:
http://forum.vbios.com/gallery/data/533/2Last_Supper.jpg
http://www.cts.edu/ImageLibrary/Images/Famous/davlassup.jpg
http://wga.hu/art/l/leonardo/03/4lastsu2.jpg the last one I know is from "Church og Santa Maria delle Grazie" in Milan, but where are the other ones? And are there more? The painting in the first link has more lifesize hands and feet I think?
Posted By: chris AZ

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/21/06 05:15 PM

the picture submitted by somsuj is very close to Leonardo's hand 'cept the thumb is not atop the fingers. I'm sure it's still possible to contort to such a position, seems very odd. Consider the bag behind the hand and the "sleeve" draped slightly in front of the bag. Peter has some wild arms if that is his sleeve.

I believe leonardo intended the hand to be a separate person for those who believe what he believed.

chris
My Site (there\'s a video related to the subject there)
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/22/06 12:41 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Alial:

Have you looked at the different LS paintings? Do you know how many there is and where they are?
Putting some links here if it's ok:
http://forum.vbios.com/gallery/data/533/2Last_Supper.jpg
http://www.cts.edu/ImageLibrary/Images/Famous/davlassup.jpg
http://wga.hu/art/l/leonardo/03/4lastsu2.jpg the last one I know is from "Church og Santa Maria delle Grazie" in Milan, but where are the other ones? And are there more? The painting in the first link has more lifesize hands and feet I think?
I think the first one you mention is a picture of the early copy of Leonardo's Last Supper at the Tongerlo museum:

http://www.tongerlo.org/da_vinci/avondmaal.htm

See this thread:
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000284#000000
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/25/06 09:09 PM

OK here is the photo I took of me -



against the original -



I don't think anyone ever said it was completely *impossible*, like your elbow coming out of your nose. We were saying it was *improbable* and therefore put in for an explicit reason. This wasn't just a random placement. It is "coming" straight out of Judas' back. It is pointing right at Andrew who has his hands straight up. That's not all coincidence. Leonardo planned this painting for years, and he planned that pose in particular very carefully. Why?

It wasn't easy for me to get into this pose. I had to do some serious contortions and even so I couldn't get my arm to bend down all the way to match the angle exactly.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 02/25/06 09:31 PM

Hi Lisa,
Yes, I agree, it's Peter's hand holding that knife, but it is very likely that Leonardo was trying to impart other information or ideas, as well as the obvious.
Posted By: Alial

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/09/06 09:45 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by PDM:
I think the first one you mention is a picture of the early copy of Leonardo's Last Supper at the Tongerlo museum:

http://www.tongerlo.org/da_vinci/avondmaal.htm

See this thread:
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000284#000000
Thank you, PDM. I didn't know that it was a copy made in the 1500 by an unknown painter. I believed Leonardo maybe made more than one, just like he did with Madonna in the grotto. I still believe there is some differences in size of feet/hands a.o but I will take it in the appropriate discussion.
Posted By: sqink

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/09/06 12:12 PM

i personally believe that this book has had to be toned down and made to appear as a fiction book due to the catholics churchs over reaction on anything realised that makes them seem any less than perfect. I do think that there is a lot of truth in the book The Da Vinci becaus eif there wasnt then why would so many other authors written about the subject? I am not in any way religious and believe that this book (and other peoples work including da vincis last supper) prove that the christian church does cover up subjects which the public should be aware of including the fact that woman where thought highly of and the catholic church has destroyed this concept and i believe Da vinci may have realised this because it is peter who is holding the knife (indicating sexism towards mary magdalene) and who went on to form the church which shows that the christian church has a lot to answer to.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/09/06 12:12 PM

Here are some more relevant pages from this site:

The Last Supper Copy
http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/copy.html

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000085#000000
Topic: replica last supper
Posted By: The Randian

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/14/06 02:01 AM

"The Last Supper" is being analyzed a little too much, I think. The idea that Leonardo, who lived 1500 years after Christ could be any more privy to the details of the Last Supper than I am is just as troubling as the idea that he was trying to convey incriminating secrets through the painting.
One is able to entertain these notions only if Dan Brown's premises are accepted.
If you have logical standards of proof, you can never be fooled by here-say...
Isn't it possible that "The Last Supper" is simply a reverent painting with no hidden messages or symbology?
Again, Leonardo wasn't actually present at the last supper...
Posted By: janimal

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/14/06 09:10 AM

so what? most of the people who wrote the bible weren't first hand witnesses...
Posted By: kateyes

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/14/06 03:04 PM

The Randian--

You are absolutely correct-Leonardo was not present at the Last Supper--and he was painting 1500 years after the event. However Leonardo is know for his attention to detail--his anatomical studies-and his fastidiousness. So unless he was trying to convey some special meaning (symbolism) to different parts of the painting--there are portions (like the hand and knife) that are not anatomically correct (there is nothing natural about the position of the hand and knife) that do not ring true to his style. The positioning of the bodies at the table is interesting--why is the "beloved" disciple leaning away from Jesus--when the biblical description says they were reclining together? The question becomes if you accept the traditional tellings of the "Last Supper" why does Leonardo's painting diverge so much from the telling? Which leads to our various discussions on the topic.
Posted By: MKF

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/19/06 10:31 AM

While looking at the hand and the knife issue it struck me the the hand might be that of Mary's defending Jesus from Judas but she is being restrained by Peter. I note that the arm length, if it is indeed Mary's right arm, appears to be out of proportion with the rest of the anatomy depicted. but as previously stated from another respondent Thomas' finger also appears to be strangly long while pointing up. One can only wonder.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/19/06 03:09 PM

Welcome MKF.
The idea that it might have been Mary's hand has, I believe, been suggested before - you might find the posts if you look through - it could be a long job though! smile

I've noticed that Leonardo seems to have his own particular way of painting hands. I've looked at several and the gestures are interesting. Some of his hands also seem over large to me.

I think it is accepted that Renaissance art is full of symbolism - and I would doubt that someone as intelligent as Leonardo would have painted works with no symbolism in them at all.

The very fact that we are still discussing The Last Supper indicates, to me, that there is something mysterious about it - and the positioning of the hand and the knife has resulted in a particularly long thread so, while it is possible that Leonardo meant nothing by it, I'm guessing that he probably did.

Is this relevant? Well, it is to the book, of course. But, since Leonardo came along well after Jesus, could he have any meaningful information to pass onto us on this subject?

It is believed that many of the 'new' ideas that appeared in the West during the Renaiassance came from the East, via refugees and other travellers. It is also believed that some ancient knowledge, that was kept alive in the East but forgotten in the West, came with them.

Did Leonardo learn some heretical versions of the story of Christ, which he tried to incorporate into his paintings? Maybe!

Is this possible other version true? Who can say? But then, who can say that the Biblical version is true? No-one really knows the answers, but by discussing possibilities, and questioning assumptions, we may come a little closer to the truth.


By the way, there's another thread here:
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000115#000001
Posted By: BobH

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/01/06 02:28 AM

I haven't had a chance to look at ALL of the posts on this subject, but please look at the Gospel according to John, 13:21 ff. Jesus has just announced that someone will betray (not kill) Him.

The disciples are portrayed looking at one another wondering which he meant (they are confused).

Peter motions to John (not Mary M: as rightfully noted elsewhere, the feminine appearance is da Vinci's method of portraying youth - look at da Vinci's portrait of John the Baptist and see another example!), who had been leaning against Jesus, and gets his attention by:
1) Grasping the hand of John (which is holding the knife!), and
2) Drawing him towards himself (towards Peter) and, as reported in John 13:24, saying "Ask him which one he means."

Da Vinci, therefore, has caught a moment in this Gospel of about three verses. It is while the disciples are questioning each other, and Peter is asking John to ask Jesus who will betray Jesus.

Thanks!

Bob
Posted By: moodyblue

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/01/06 09:23 AM

Quote:
Peter motions to John (not Mary M: as rightfully noted elsewhere, the feminine appearance is da Vinci's method of portraying youth - look at da Vinci's portrait of John the Baptist and see another example!),
Is that a fact? or just another interpretation ?

How do we know its not Leonardo trying to project something about the feminine ? Just because it also appears in other works, it does not neccasarily suggest there are other reasons.
Posted By: behonest

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/01/06 06:26 PM

None of us were at the supper, so then we shouldn't talk about it ?

The basic point is, patriarchial society has been destroying the earth, especially the judeo-christian religions that recognise only a Father in heaven. We must go back to loving nature, the feminine divinity.

Funny thing is, it will happen anyway, inspite of you or me or these posts. That is the law of natire. The ultimate triumph of the patriarchy - cartesian thought that spawned the industrial revolution is already discredited due to its unsustainability. Even multinational conglomerates want to talk of sustainable business models.

Read Fritjof Kapra's "Turning Point".

You will understand we are witnessing the End of Days.
Posted By: janimal

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/02/06 10:14 AM

hmmmm... if a matriarchial society is more sustainable, then where is it? egalitarianism is the only sustainable way forward. to argue for the superiority of the feminine is to make the same mistakes of chauvenists over the past 4000 years.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/02/06 03:33 PM

BobH and behonest - welcome to the forum!

If you go back to the very first post on this thread you will find this from Lisa:

'The whole reason my pages began was to show a picture of the Last Supper painting and to discuss the hand and the knife. That was all the site began with. So, let's go back to the beginning. What do you think the hand and knife really mean? It is really just a knife that a certain apostle "happens" to be holding, that "happens" to be by Judas, that "happens" to be in a very odd position?

'I personally don't think so - I think that Leonardo spent over 2 years on this work of art and planned each detail very carefully ... it's not like he just tossed a random collection of characters quickly onto a wall ...'[Lisa Shea]


The page about 'The Hand & The Knife' is here:
http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/lastsupper.html

She notes:
'The painting depicts the very moment that Jesus has said to his disciples:

Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.

--Matthew 26' [Lisa Shea]


I think that everyone must accept that this scene is Leonardo's interpretation of that moment. But we also know that Renaissance artists included symbolism in their works. So the question is - was this simply a painting of a moment described in the Bible - or is it Leonardo's interpretation which includes some potentially heretical ideas?

'Peter motions to John (not Mary M: as rightfully noted elsewhere' [BobH]

Well, that's one of the points in question. The Bible does not say that that was John. It doesn't say who it was. So Leonardo could use artistic license to convey his own thoughts on the matter. He could not have made 'the beloved disciple' openly female in that day and age and in that place - but he could have hinted at it if he so chose. So, what was it? We don't really know.

I do think that there is something ultimately wrong with the Christian attitude that there was a creator father, but no mother. Actually, it goes against all logic. In the absence of scientific knowledge to the contrary, the mother is the most 'obvious' creator. There are threads on the Goddess and the sacred feminine.
Posted By: moodyblue

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/02/06 05:21 PM

Interesting post behonest
Posted By: guy55

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/03/06 04:17 AM

Does anybody else see the person in blue (if it even is a person) standing in the background (middle window)? Who is he/she?
Posted By: guy55

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/03/06 04:19 AM

OH, and i just noticed there also seems to be a town back there.
Posted By: guy55

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/03/06 04:30 AM

Oh one more thing (i promise) is that a ... well its SOME kind of electronic device on right wall. This was the 1500s right?
Posted By: guy55

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/03/06 04:35 AM

Oh one more thing (i promise) is that a ... well its SOME kind of electronic device on right wall. This was the 1500s right?http://milano.arounder.com/da_vinci_last_supper/fullscreen.html
there's the link to a website with an image of the last supper where you can zoom in and that's how i noticed those details.
Posted By: janimal

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/03/06 10:29 AM

very good. i've also see it done with i-pod phones on john.....
Posted By: guy55

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/03/06 03:18 PM

Oh. lol. But who's that woman in the background??
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/03/06 06:21 PM

Hello Guy55. Welcome.

I don't know what that 'blue' is supposed to represent. That's a mystery!

I can indeed see a town - well, buildings, anyway, including a church. And it looks like Medieval / Early Modern Europe, rather than the Jerusalem of Jesus's day. Fascinating!

I think that this deserves a new thread, as it is not about the hand or the knife.
Posted By: Maddalena

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/04/06 02:08 AM

First, I believe that it’s important to use the photos of the original painting in any discussion of Da Vinci’s intentions. The “retouched” version, in my opinion, only confuses the issue. Images of the copy (done by another artist) that is found in the Netherlands is useful in confirming some of the questions about whose hand it is. (I would assume it was done in the tradition of copying the Masters, to the best of the student’s ability.) And, of course, we are only guessing at Da Vinci’s intentions, but it does seem clear that he is making certain points with this painting, and as he was “at odds” with The Church in his day, it isn’t surprising that he would be hinting at things that went against church teachings. There is a great deal of documention in various parts of the world of religious followers of Mary Magdalene, honoring her as the Bride of Christ, and The Chalice that carried his seed and his lineage. It seems strange to me that even in this day, we would rather think that the “disciple that Jesus loved”...”and kissed often about the mouth”, should have been a man rather than his wife. With the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts, clearly it can be seen that there was a split in the early church, with those who included and, in fact, honored, the divine feminine, and those who believed women were not equal to men. As has been stated elsewhere, history is written by the victors. And so, there were excommunications of “heretics”, Inquisitions, and hangings, beheadings, and burning at the stake. Gnostics were persecuted and either wiped out or had to go underground. “Witch hunts” of our country’s early history were simply an extension of this persecution. Women were not to be allowed power, and if they were a little too gifted in the intuitive arts, they were suspect. And if it meant “adjusting the Master’s teachings”...well... O.K.,...why would Da Vinci, master of anatomy, give us a painting with a disembodied arm? 1) Simply a mistake?...hard to believe. 2) It really does anatomically connect to one of the bodies at the table?...Doesn’t look like it to me. Using the high resolution image, and the later copy done by another artist (Netherlands painting), it seems quite clear to me that Peter’s wrist curves around the arm of the hand holding the knife. I actually see the other hand coming from behind Peter’s shoulder as not being attached to a body either. In the high resolution image, it appears to come from behind the curve of yellow robe thrown over his left shoulder (the others have such robes, too). And Mary, looking down at this hand, which rests in a relaxed way upon her shoulder, in a peaceful, and even adoring manner. 3) There is a message in this awkward rendition of anatomy. To be continued...
Posted By: Maddalena

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/04/06 02:12 AM

I go with number 3...so what message? I don’t think this has been offered yet, but it makes sense to me. Someone did mention that, in The Da Vinci code, the knife is “the blade”. So, who is the blade that Peter is restraining? What are the teachings that he does not allow into “his church”? I see the disembodied hands simply as symbols for Christ himself. Who is Andrew looking at with such surprise? (The white-bearded one with his hands up in front of him in startled response.) In the Gnostic texts it is Andrew who is surprised at Peter’s comments against Mary, and says that they should believe Mary’s recounting of what Jesus had taught her alone. From my viewpoint, Peter is the only one at the table whose two hands are hidden. Mary’s hands have been commented upon. That they seemed too large. They can both be clearly seen on the table, fingers entwined. But it does seem to me that they could very well be encircling one of those small glasses that can be seen in closeups in the high resolution image. The other glasses that can be seen on the table are nearly invisible at the top...only the red wine in the lower half can be seen. Of course, I can’t say that there definitely is one, just that it’s possible (I can almost see one, if I try real hard...: ) Other thoughts: the yellow coin purse in front of Peter is not so obvious that it couldn’t be explained away by Da Vinci, if he were confronted (“No, can’t you see, it’s part of the yellow robe that goes over Peter’s shoulder.”) It seems to me that Da Vinci is making a rather accusatory statement about The Church itself here, and the Pope, who fills Peter’s role as head of the (then) modern day church. The same with any interpretations of the hand with the knife (“Oh, it’s just a trick of the eyes,...I can prove it, I have the study right here.”) It seems appropriate that it is Thomas who is pointing to the coat of arms in the middle panel above the heads of Jesus and Mary. (The Gospel of Thomas reveals that Peter saw Mary as unworthy of receiving Jesus’ teachings.) The coat of arms centered above their head's is for the HUSBAND AND WIFE that the painting was commissioned by. So, was Da Vinci making commentary about an institution that he was certainly at odds with? Wouldn’t put it past him. And I can't prove it either. I have always felt that our interpretations of works of art say more about us, generally, than about the artist’s intent, which is why we all have such different interpretations. We see what we want to see? Now, I just read somewhere that Da Vinci believed that John the Baptist was the true Christ...so does that take me back to square one?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/04/06 03:10 PM

Hi Maddalena. Welcome. I agree with quite a bit of what you say. Here are some links to 'Last Supper' images: Hi-resolution image of Leonardo’s ‘Last Supper’: http://milano.arounder.com/PROJECTS/SANTA_MARIA_DELLE_GRAZIE/ The Da Vinci Museum, Tongerlo, Belgium has an early copy of this work; Homepage: http://www.tongerlo.org/da_vinci/davinci_home.htm Last Supper Image: http://www.tongerlo.org/da_vinci/avondmaal.htm Details of another early copy here (click on image for larger view): http://www.racollection.org.uk/ixbin/hixclient.exe?submit-button=SUMMARY&$03/1230%20index%20mus_obj_parts=.&_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXSPFX_=full/t Some references to copies: http://altreligion.about.com/library/davinci/bl_lastsuppercopy.htm Re. John the Baptist - that pointing finger gesture of Thomas's is one that seems to be linked to him - from what I have read, anyway.
Posted By: AnthonyM83

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/07/06 06:47 AM

There seems to be a lot of discussion on the knife and if it's floating. Even before all the Da Vinci Code discussion, it would seem appropriate if he's telling the apostles about how one of them will betray him. The knife could be any one of them...

wikipidia posts theory that Peter IS holding the knife, but pointing away from Jesus...as a symbol the violence to come from him later on.

Sorry, if this has been posted, I'm still catching up on posts. This was just something I was thinking about.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/07/06 10:39 PM

Welcome Anthony. Thanks for the comment. That's interesting.

One way or another, I'm sure that Leonardo included some kind of symbolism in that painting and I think that the positioning of the knife was probably important.

I do think that Peter is intended to be holding it - in the obvious, straightforward way. But maybe others are also implicated.
Posted By: KENNY'SGIRL21

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/09/06 12:01 AM

hi yes i have just started reading the da vincie code and i started to read the book for i didnt want to see the movie till i did i just read that part when i decided i would jump on line and see who else was reading it.. i was raised a christchen but have always had so many questions about all of the bible our beliefs the whole nine yards i believe in past lives and other relms and such and believe i am one and this book is starting to really hit home of alot of stuff that i have read and i am starting to really question have all i been told is true...

I believe that is mary m beside jesus and i believe that peter is trying to kill i believe that is a knife but im just not sure .. what the symbolism is.

Rachelle

P.S.Sorry about that you guys i was interupted when posting this and i had put the wrong name in.
Posted By: threebillion6

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/09/06 10:14 AM

has anyone thought about the idea of Peter stabbing the hand holding the knife? It looks like Peter has a knife in his hand, but we can only see the butt of the blade, and of you look to the right of Peter's hand and the knife hand, it looks like the hand that holds the knife's arm has no sleeve to it. It's a bare arm between the hands and Judas' back. Just thought to point that out.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/09/06 01:36 PM

Welcome to the site Rachelle. I think you'll find lots to interest you here. smile
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/09/06 01:59 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by threebillion6:
has anyone thought about the idea of Peter stabbing the hand holding the knife? It looks like Peter has a knife in his hand, but we can only see the butt of the blade, and of you look to the right of Peter's hand and the knife hand, it looks like the hand that holds the knife's arm has no sleeve to it. It's a bare arm between the hands and Judas' back. Just thought to point that out.
Welcome threebillion6 smile
I think that it's because that bit of the picture is so unclear, that it leaves room for so much conjecture. Was that deliberate on Leonardo's part, I wonder?

Perhaps it would be worth looking at the early copies, as well as the real thing.
Posted By: AnthonyM83

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/09/06 10:04 PM

I've gone back to look at the painting since people have said they think it's Peter's hand holding the knife. I can't see any possible way it could be his own hand.

Both of his arms are counted for. His left one is at Mary's throat and his right arm is angled in toward himself. There's no way his wrist could bend at 180 to point back outward. Also, the sleeve around the mystery hand is different from Peter's garments.

It's conceivable that Peter is holding onto the mystery wrist in attempts to restrain it or hold it back, but that's not for sure.
Posted By: wineforme

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/10/06 02:20 AM

Look closer he is holding the knife and his wrist is able to position that way, try it. Where are you saying his wrist is?? I thought something was funny about it also, but if you look again its nothing... its made that way to look contorted and subject..but it really isnt so strange..I really doubt the killing theory..
Posted By: AnthonyM83

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/11/06 08:36 AM

Ah, yes, you're absolutely right. I was looking at a different picture with poorer zoom resolution. The lighter color of his clothing looked like it was part of his sleeve making it look like his hand went inward, but now I could clearly sleeve his wrist bends out.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/11/06 08:36 AM

Welcome Wineforme. smile

Wineforme & Anthony, have you looked at the pages on this thread where we have considered the awkward position of the arm - illustrated, too!
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000002;p=20
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/27/06 06:42 PM

Originally posted by Tompg:

'if you were to hold the knife as painted and twist your wrist clockwise it would create a nice thrust '
Posted By: Clevedon

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/27/06 08:44 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by satya:
Frankly, the hand and the knife do not seem to be the issue at all! The fact that the person on the right could be a woman (MaryM as claimed by DB in dVC) is more startling. I do not know if this was previously documented (if at all this is true) and what in the name of heaven is a woman doing there? Now do we need to believe what DB said now or waht was said in HBHG to be true???
It all depends on your perspective...for me it is not at all startling that the John figure might be a woman. Long before I had heard of the Da Vinci code, and long before I had heard about any controversy around The Last Supper, my own personal beliefs had lead me to believe Jesus was a "normal" man, who surely had relationships, married, and quite possibly had offspring. To be honest I've never understood the vehemence of the argument that insists he wasn't married.

The hand and the knife is totally fascinating to me - there's clearly something going on here. As Lisa points out, the original painting is in poor condition and this makes it very difficult to unjumble all the shadows and faint lines. Personally I don't believe it's Peter's hand holding the knife...the purplish bulge where his forearm would have to be looks decidedly wrong. If anything it looks like Peter is holding the wrist of the knife hand. The theory of an obscured figure is intiguing, but then who can say? It almost looks like a retouch...as if the painting was fundamentally altered, but there's no way Da Vinci would have made such a pigs ear of it. Completely baffling like all good mysteries should be smile

Ricky
Posted By: Maddalena

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/06/06 11:24 PM

From Somsuj on Feb. 13:

Quote:
this is a suggestion i gave long long ago no one showed the enthusiasm to do it.

professionally - i can say that it is anatomically possible.

here is the proof : -

and here is Da Vinci himself : -
I can't seem to copy the pictures to this reply, but you can go back to his message on Feb. 13 to see picture's. Here is Somsuj's picture of his hand holding knife: http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic=2/4302190865.jpg&s=x11


But can this anatomical feat be accomplished without touching the table? Peter's hand seems to be mid-air...does it not? http://milano.arounder.com/da_vinci_last_supper/fullscreen.html
Posted By: roy

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/06/06 11:59 PM

Just a thought.

If the person at the right hand of Jesus is Mary... Where is John the beloved in the photo? Did he lose his invitation to the last dinner?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/07/06 12:26 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Maddalena:
From Somsuj on Feb. 13:

Quote:
this is a suggestion i gave long long ago no one showed the enthusiasm to do it.

professionally - i can say that it is anatomically possible.

here is the proof : -

and here is Da Vinci himself : -
I can't seem to copy the pictures to this reply, but you can go back to his message on Feb. 13 to see picture's. Here is Somsuj's picture of his hand holding knife: http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic=2/4302190865.jpg&s=x11


But can this anatomical feat be accomplished without touching the table? Peter's hand seems to be mid-air...does it not? http://milano.arounder.com/da_vinci_last_supper/fullscreen.html
Welcome Maddalena.

On the relevant page of this thread, there is a photo of Lisa, as well as one of Somsuj - and Lisa's hand is mid air.

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000002;p=20
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/07/06 12:39 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by roy:
Just a thought.

If the person at the right hand of Jesus is Mary... Where is John the beloved in the photo? Did he lose his invitation to the last dinner?
Welcome to the forum, Roy.

This thread is about 'the hand and the knife' so I'll add your comment to the following thread:

Topic: John vs. Mary
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=6&t=000383#000002
Posted By: Maddalena

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/08/06 10:15 PM

Quote:

On the relevant page of this thread, there is a photo of Lisa, as well as one of Somsuj - and Lisa's hand is mid air.

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000002;p=20
We-e-ell...Not a bad try, but that's in comparison to the retouched painting,...which, in my opinion, doesn't count. It doesn't duplicate the angles well from the original painting, or the other copies. If you look at each of the other paintings available, especially the original, the angles are much more reasonable as being: one outstretched in a natural straight line and another curving around it in a restraining way.

This copy http://forum.vbios.com/gallery/data/533/2Last_Supper.jpg (I believe it's the Tongerlo version?) makes a pretty clear case. Yes, it's a copy,...as I've mentioned before, it was quite common to copy the masters. But it's pretty clear that the artist understood what was depicted in the original. An outstretched arm, with hand holding a knife, and Peter's hand wrapped around it in a restraining manner. (Why make such clear definition, if he didn't see it in the painting? Because he wasn't trying to be ambiguous, as Da Vinci was, but rather true to the original, that is clearly the perspective that the imitator sees.) In this copy you can see the difference in color between the two skin tones, and, it looks to me as though you can also see Peter's fingers wrapping around the other wrist.
Posted By: debutante

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/09/06 04:39 AM

Hey there Lisa! Thanks for your most informative site on the Da Vinci Code.

I have a question: In this article (http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/passover.html) you mentioned that "Depending on how you translate the words of Luke 22:15, it actually says that Jesus longs to eat Passover with them - but that he will be unable to because Passover is TOMORROW NIGHT."

I was just wondering which version you based your statement on, as I always thought through reading that passage over and over again that the Last Supper = the night of the Passover.

Thanks and God bless.
Posted By: somsuj

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/09/06 06:40 PM

Welcome Maddalena

sorry mate - has anyone sen the original painting ? in our generation - NO.

I did not want to create the original angle - because - afterall you need to understand it is NOT a photograph we are discusing. Expectations may vary but - Leonardo is still a painter with great control over his anatomy and perspective blah blah blah . . . . and he is painting a commissioned picture. I see no reason to expect the picture to be anatomically and perspective wise 100% accurate. If anybody expects that - welcome to the fool's paradise.

Re the "COPY" - yeah - that is the best copy available, but what makes us so sure that the copying artist understood what was depicted in the original? as far as i know, the picture started deteriorating rather early and this copy was done about 50 yrs later (I am writing from my memory now and i culd be wrong). Neither of us know what part of the picture started to deteriorate first and what part of imagination went to the copy ? Do we ?
Why not the copier read the hand wrongly - just like some of us and did it wrongly ?



Even then - see clearly - there is no restraint - the colour difference in skin tone may not be obvious two you if you are white - pick any asian or black person - look at the colour of the forehand and that of the palm - it will become obvious. After all Jesus and Peter and other disciples were not whitemen.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/09/06 09:30 PM

I must admit, though, Somsuj, I can see what she means when looking at that copy.

It could be Leonardo being ambiguous again, I suppose - double meanings, perhaps?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/09/06 09:53 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by debutante:
Hey there Lisa! Thanks for your most informative site on the Da Vinci Code.

I have a question: In this article (http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/passover.html) you mentioned that "Depending on how you translate the words of Luke 22:15, it actually says that Jesus longs to eat Passover with them - but that he will be unable to because Passover is TOMORROW NIGHT."

I was just wondering which version you based your statement on, as I always thought through reading that passage over and over again that the Last Supper = the night of the Passover.

Thanks and God bless.
Hi debutante. This thread is about the hand and the knife and needs to be kept on topic, so I'll add your comments here:
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000114#000000
Topic: WAS THE "LAST SUPPER" THE PASSOVER MEAL?
Posted By: arth6831

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/10/06 01:53 AM

strongest argument for mary m coming to france is that pope innocent iii fely he had to erase the heresy in sw france...where virtually all of the small churches venerated the magdalen....read holy bolood holy grail fo rthe bestresearch on this......also read prof barbara thierings books she was prof of religious history at sydney aus. university for 27 years.....and expert on dead sea scrolls and nag hammadi scrolls....there is proof that jesus was alive in 63 ad and was last spotted in rome in 70 ad...art swanson
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/10/06 01:44 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by arth6831:
strongest argument for mary m coming to france is that pope innocent iii fely he had to erase the heresy in sw france...where virtually all of the small churches venerated the magdalen....read holy bolood holy grail fo rthe bestresearch on this......also read prof barbara thierings books she was prof of religious history at sydney aus. university for 27 years.....and expert on dead sea scrolls and nag hammadi scrolls....there is proof that jesus was alive in 63 ad and was last spotted in rome in 70 ad...art swanson
Hi art. smile Welcome to the forum.

This thread is about The Da Vinci Code: 'the hand and the knife' I'll start a new one for 'France's Magdalene Heresy' and add your comments (about Jesus surviving the cross) to this thread:

Topic: "The Jesus Papers" - Surviving crucifixion.
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000261#000000

Topic: France's Magdalene Heresy
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=13&t=000301

Now we need to keep this particular thread on topic.

Thanks. smile
Posted By: illmakeuthink

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/21/06 09:33 PM

ummmy opinion is that peter hated mary because he hated the idea of jesus havin a women and lovin her more then the dispiles and maybe he threatning her thats why she is upset other then findin out jesus was betrayed i dont know
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/21/06 10:16 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by illmakeuthink:
ummmy opinion is that peter hated mary because he hated the idea of jesus havin a women and lovin her more then the dispiles and maybe he threatning her thats why she is upset other then findin out jesus was betrayed i dont know
That's the theory put forward in at least one of the books that I have read. It might have been a Picknett & Prince book.
Posted By: illmakeuthink

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/22/06 12:45 AM

Acutally it was DVC lol but it makes since peter was a hot head I they recall in the bible. It kinda make sense though if you Look at the painting more closely.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/22/06 12:55 AM

Well, the DVC copied theories from other books. Brown actually gives a bibliography - I think it's on his website. I believe that Picknett & Prince's book 'The Templar Revelation' is on it.
Posted By: ogonzalez

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/23/06 04:33 PM

Hello Lisa, wonderful site and I much appreciate everyone's commentary on Leonardo's depiction of the Last Supper. I wanted to put out some of my own theories and interpretations after studying the anatomy of the figures in the painting. I am a surgeon by trade and fairly versed in anatomy. Some of these ideas may be far-fetched but I wanted to get people's input and criticism.

Please keep in mind that Leonardo created abstract images and messages from seemingly realistic ones. Leonardo seems to tell the story of the Last Supper through the hands of the different individuals. It is the hands that give us a clue as to the motions, emotions, and intentions of the people in the scene.

1) Most people seem to be focused on the hand and the knife. So I will start there. The hand is a Right Hand. It could be Peter's, however, it is contorted in such a way as to be "uncomfortable" or not necessarily normal. The wrist is abnormally thick. However, I'm sure Leonardo gave himself license to contort extremities to give meaning. Secondly, the idea that Peter's right hand is holding back another right hand with knife has already been put forth. This seems plausible as well, given the color variations at the wrist. This could be artifact from the damaged original or actual faded skin tones. Possibly, Leonardo might be representing a duality of Peter holding back his own hand. I'll put forth the idea that the hand with the knife may actually be Mary Magdalene's. The hand with the knife is rather thin and light skin (somewhat feminine). Assuming Peter was actually restraining Mary's right hand, she would be pulled towards Peter as depicted; not necessarily leaning over as often described. Why would Mary have a knife? I don't know, but I have a few Ideas.

2) Secondly, I'd like to focus on the other set of hands I find more intriguing: those of Jesus' right hand (open and facing down) and the Left hand emanating from Judas' green robe. I actually believe that Leonardo is depicting Peter's Left hand as it reaches across the table towards Jesus--as if wanting to be next to him. If one follows a line along Peter's naked left shoulder, down across the green robe, it is anatomically plausible that Peter's Left hand is down on the table rather than in the contorted position that would be needed to rest on Mary's Right shoulder. One can see the aggressive stance that Peter poses, even pushing Judas aside against the table edge. Mary's gaze stares down at this reaching hand.


3) In between Jesus' and what I call now Peter's hand, one can see the clasped hands of Mary. However, these hand look fake, dead as if made of stone, or mutilated (the finger tips don't add up--Leonardo often mutilated the hands of the Madonna). However, if one looks even closer, Mary's Left Hand has no wrist. It appears as if the hand has been cut off at the wrist. Looking at Jesus' right side, it appears as if it's been stained with a smattering of blood. Why would Mary Magdalene's hand be cut off and by whom? I don't know.

4) Fourth, what about the hand on Mary's right shoulder? Whose hand is it if it's not Peter's? Anatomically, it would have to be Judas' as he reaches up to talk to her. One can see a thin cuff of blue around the wrist that could come from Judas' cloak. The color would not necessarily be the same as the green cloth draped across his left side and pulled by his right hand. I'll go out on a limb and say that the hand may actually represent Mary's severed hand. This hand, if flipped around in space and reattached to Mary's Left wrist would fit in perfectly. In addition, this hand would fit in so perfectly that it would be clasping Jesus' Right hand! I couldn't believe it when I saw it, but thinking of the message that Leonardo may be trying to get across I couldn't stop thinking of the Position of Jesus' right Hand and the hand reaching across the table.

I know some people may find my interpretations pretty outrageous as I depict a pretty violent scene. However, I feel that Leonardo in some way is trying to depict the Jealousy between Peter towards Mary. Did he want to sever any connection between Mary and Jesus? It seems pretty obvious that he is reaching desperately for Jesus, but one person stands in his way. Or did Mary Magdalene sever her own hand (i.e. conceal the close relationship between her and Jesus) and why?

Just some food for thought. Hope you enjoy.

Still trying to decipher the code...ogonzalez
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/23/06 04:54 PM

I am not sure if this was mentioned, because there are 24 pages, and to be honest, it's a tuesday/work day so I am being lazy and not reading them all, but in the last supper by Jacopo Bassano, the knife is there also, I am not sure myself as to the identity of the apostle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Last-supper.jpg but you will also notice a feminine figure in this painting also angled the same as in Da Vincis (to the right). The main reason I say this is that every other apostle has facial hair, and here is this apostle with curly red hair and feminine features... Also note the direction of the knife held is pointed/directed at the angle of the feminine disciple. I believe if we take a closer look at the last supper by davinci, it seems the individual with the greay beard whispering something to Magdalene/John is the same one with the knife curled in their hand to betray the same feminine individual.... Also if you look at the feet underneath the table of Jesus and this feminine individual, they are barely touching. I myself am a king of footsie, and that is definitely some footsie action. So whoever the old dude with the beard and knife is.. he is jealous is my guess because whoever that represents is getting the most attention from Jesus. - Wow... on second inspection, every other knife (two others) on the table by Bassano's painting is pointing at John/Magdalene..... I imagine that is symbolic of something. I went to the trouble of circling and pointing out the interesting things I found in Bassano's painting and posted it here - http://www.twocircuits.com/setemp/circledstuff.jpg Also remember that the old man with the knife is the same old man as in Da Vinci's.
Posted By: TD

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/23/06 10:42 PM

Maybe the hand holding the knife is just someone who was putting butter or whatever onto a peice of bread? You never know?
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/23/06 10:45 PM

That's a very sharp butter knife. Of course they had different knives... I noticed that the bread was not cut yet, however in Da Vinci's it is & I find it rather strange that the exact same apostle would be holding the knife and be near John/Magdalene.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/23/06 11:54 PM

Other 'hand' and 'knife' threads:

Topic: Fingers, hands, gestures
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000080#000000

Topic: Peter's Knife in The Last Supper
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000479#000010

Topic: Last supper
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000270#000007
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/23/06 11:56 PM

A relevant quote from another thread, dated August 07, 2005: [quote]Originally posted by my-profile_name: [b] When looking at the full view original painting of The Last Supper (before retouches) that was provided in a link from a previous topic, it looks like the hand is actually coming from “Mary”. I know that the picture actually shows “Mary’s” hands to be clasped in front on the table which is a plausible position, but “Mary” could also be in the same pose, yet have her arm extended out (holding the knife). It is exactly because the painting had to be realistic if questioned by his commissioners, Leonardo purposely made this ambiguous by hiding “Mary’s” elbow behind “Judas” so that one could not accuse Leonardo of heresy or try to make him change the painting. It also seems to me that if one takes the assumption that Leonardo truly meant Jesus and “Mary” to form an “M” then with the arm extending out, it would make a better M to me. Furthermore, if you look at Simon (third person from right in blue) on the other side of the table, Leonardo gives us a hint and example to show what “Mary’s” arm could do. By looking at the length of Simon’s extended arm, it looks to be about the same length that’s hidden behind Judas; thus showing the viewer that “Mary’s” arm could reach this far. Plus, you see that they both have similar blue outfits. Why would “Mary” want to hold a knife at Andrew? It has been documented in the Gospel according to John that after the resurrection, Mary went to tell Peter and an unnamed apostle what she had witnessed. In addition, the Gospel of Mary and other texts, detail Mary going to Peter and Andrew where she revealed her revelations to them which carried some Gnostic beliefs. Peter and Andrew both condemned these ideas because they held an orthodox position of the Church. I just saw an interesting documentary on the National Geographic channel which suggests that the Shroud of Turin was a hoax created by Leonardo Da Vinci. (It’s an interesting show, but it is not the topic of discussion here.) I thought they summarized Leonardo succinctly. They stated that Leonardo had unconventional views which could have marked him a heretic. Throughout his life he felt conflicted with the Church and felt contempt for them. In fact, he had been imprisoned for awhile by the Church because they suspected him of being a homosexual. He was an illegitimate son, his religious views were based on nature; he was a scientist and a vegetarian which were all things not condoned by the Orthodox Church. Leonardo also had a humorous side where he liked to mock things. In fact, he had created the caricature which distorts people’s image in a playful way. In my opinion, the disembodied hand seems to flow more naturally from “Mary” versus Peter. By combining Leonardo’s contempt for the Church and knowing that he was a master at depicting realistic human anatomy, one could see how this knife could show Mary making a stab at Peter and Andrew. Peter and Andrew embodied everything Leonardo disliked about the Church. It was Leonardo’s silent way of showing contempt for the Church and of his desire to be rid of it. In fact, by subtly painting the apostle’s eyes focusing to this interaction between “Mary” and Peter, Leonardo further makes another hidden mockery of the Church by implying this to be the more important point to the painting versus Jesus (or the Church). This would also explain why Peter is seen leaning towards “Mary” telling her something. There has been speculation about what and why Peter is talking to this person when Jesus has just revealed a shocking statement. Perhaps in Leonardo’s hidden meaning, this picture portrays Peter and Andrew’s response to “Mary’s” Gnostic ideas and what Leonardo thought of them. [/b][/quote]
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/23/06 11:58 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Freeform:
I am not sure if this was mentioned, because there are 24 pages, and to be honest, it's a tuesday/work day so I am being lazy and not reading them all, but in the last supper by Jacopo Bassano, the knife is there also, I am not sure myself as to the identity of the apostle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Last-supper.jpg but you will also notice a feminine figure in this painting also angled the same as in Da Vincis (to the right). The main reason I say this is that every other apostle has facial hair, and here is this apostle with curly red hair and feminine features... Also note the direction of the knife held is pointed/directed at the angle of the feminine disciple. I believe if we take a closer look at the last supper by davinci, it seems the individual with the greay beard whispering something to Magdalene/John is the same one with the knife curled in their hand to betray the same feminine individual.... Also if you look at the feet underneath the table of Jesus and this feminine individual, they are barely touching. I myself am a king of footsie, and that is definitely some footsie action. So whoever the old dude with the beard and knife is.. he is jealous is my guess because whoever that represents is getting the most attention from Jesus. - Wow... on second inspection, every other knife (two others) on the table by Bassano's painting is pointing at John/Magdalene..... I imagine that is symbolic of something. I went to the trouble of circling and pointing out the interesting things I found in Bassano's painting and posted it here - http://www.twocircuits.com/setemp/circledstuff.jpg Also remember that the old man with the knife is the same old man as in Da Vinci's.
That's really interesting about those three knives.

I read that that painting was based on Leonardo's.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/23/06 11:59 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by TD:
Maybe the hand holding the knife is just someone who was putting butter or whatever onto a peice of bread? You never know?
welcome TD.

Didn't simon later use his knife - or maybe sword - to cut off the ear of a Roman soldier?
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 12:03 AM

I thought it may have been Mary's arm, but I really think it's Simon with his hand curled back because if Bassano's painting was based on Da Vincis, he made it much more apparent.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 12:03 AM

Hi ogonzalez. Welcome to the forum and thanks for your input.

Yes, this thread does concentrate on the hand and the knife, but there are others with different but relevant themes, where we can discuss some of the other points.

This one might be suitable:

Topic: Fingers, hands, gestures
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000080#000000
Posted By: MimiVar

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 04:26 PM

I noticed someone else earlier had the same theory as me, that the hand with the knife belongs to John/Mary. As Jesus has just said that the betrayer will dip hands with him in the dish and the dish is sitting right in front of John/Mary AND Judas and Jesus are both reaching their hands toward it, perhaps John/Mary sees the connection and is reaching for the knife behind Judas to prevent the betrayal, but is being restrained by Peter.

Also, I don't see that figure as being Mary, but John, who is the youngest and could have looked very feminine. If it were Mary, why wouldn't all the disciples be present at such an important secret dinner?
Posted By: MimiVar

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 04:34 PM

There is also a statement about every other apostle having facial hair. If John was truly the youngest (he was believed to be about 100 years old when he died between 96-100 AD) he would have been around the same age as Jesus. You will notice that JESUS has very little facial hair as well. Is then possible that little or no facial hair was a sign of youth?
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 04:57 PM

it's possible for sure, but that is really a give-in. It's very simple to say that all of the apostles are there, and John is the youngest and that is why he has no beard, and also that he is close to Jesus because he was his best apostle. It is more difficult however to point out the strange geometry that has nothing to do with John the apostle, like 3 knives being pointed in that direction. Is it a coincidence? Also, the knife curled in the hand in Da Vinci's is not something as simple as telling gender or we would know the meaning of it immediately in my opinion. I will agree with you to an extent though because of Da Vinci's style of painting the apostle John - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co...a_Vinci_025.jpg
Posted By: MimiVar

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 06:46 PM

True, it is simple to say all the apostles were there so it has to be JOhn. But it is also simple to say "It has long hair and feminine features, it must be a woman."

In the same way its simple to say "It has webbed feet and a flat bill, it must be a duck." But it could also be a platypus. We are all going to have our own opinions and Leonardo Da Vinci is no longer here to clarify it. So all we can really say is It is what it is.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 06:55 PM

My personal opinion is that it is John the apostle also, mainly because of Da Vinci's art style, but it is interesting to speculate. The link posted with the painting of John the apostle shows directly that he though of John being beardless, and also having longer hair and feminine features, which is very similar to "the last supper", and that is pretty apparent evidence. The only real difference is the fact that the John in the last supper has no curly hair, or perhaps he did, but it wasn't as apparent as time aged the painting.
Posted By: MimiVar

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 07:14 PM

The John in the picture you posted is John the Baptist. The John in the Last Supper is John the Disciple. Two different men, one common name.
Posted By: simonth

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 07:14 PM

hi

has anyone mentioned this before, which version of gospel or bible was Leonardo referring to when he drew his painting? I mean at his times, the 'story' told about Jesus and his disciples might not be the same as our modern days. Revisions might happen along the way.

So during interpration of his drawing based on what was told on the moment which he was drawing, should be based on Leonardo's version of the bible.
Posted By: SouthSideSlim

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 08:23 PM

MimiVar,

'True, it is simple to say all the apostles were there so it has to be John. But it is also simple to say "It has long hair and feminine features, it must be a woman."'

The point of the long hair reference was that it was most common for jewish men at the time to cut their hair at shoulder length. Notice also how the hair of John/Mary appears slightly curly, adding to the feminine appearance.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 08:28 PM

yes but strangely enough culture has always shown Jesus w/ long hair as well, but Discovery channel says that most likely he had short hair. Of course this is the same discovery channel that said "the knights templar no longer exist".
Posted By: SouthSideSlim

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 08:32 PM

Freeform,

It really depends on the definition of short. In the context of the time of Jesus' life, you could have been considered to have short hair even if your ears were covered.

Jewish law forbade expressions of vanity, and cutting one's hair to reveal the ears, was considered such. As was the shaving of a beard.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 08:41 PM

man... discovery channel sure was off base then.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 11:24 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by MimiVar:
The John in the picture you posted is John the Baptist. The John in the Last Supper is John the Disciple. Two different men, one common name.
Could it possibly also be one common model??
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/24/06 11:38 PM

excerpt from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Apostle At the meal itself, his place was next to Jesus on whose chest he leaned (John 13:23, 25). According to the general interpretation, John was also that "other disciple" who with Peter followed Jesus after the arrest into the palace of the high-priest (John 18:15). John alone remained near Jesus at the foot of the cross on Calvary with Jesus’ mother, Mary, and the pious women, and took Mary into his care as the last legacy of Jesus (John 19:25-27) I noted in Da Vinci's painting that John was not only leaning away from Jesus & NOT laying his head on his chest, but that this occurs in http://www.rollins.edu/Foreign_Lang/Russian/uslast.jpg version of the last super, & also I noted closeness in Basssano's..http://www.wga.hu/art/b/bassano/jacopo/last_sup.jpg This is rather off track of the "knife" issue perhaps, but I think if we can figure out why John is leaning away from jesus in Da Vincis version it may help. I think personally that it looks like the individual next to John is whispering something & and also has the knife poised to betray them. Also, according to the Bible, Judas was Simon Peter's son - Joh 12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, I think this changes the tone of the knife alot. It could be conveying that Peter's Lineage was corrupt. Joh 6:71 (1161) He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him,846 being one of the twelve.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:19 AM

How interesting, Freeform!

It's in the King James version but not the NIV.


John 12 (New International Version):

3Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?



John 12 (King James Version):

3Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

4Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,

5Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

www.biblegateway.com
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:19 AM

I believe I found an interesting answer -

In the second main etymology, "Iscariot" is considered to be a transformation of the Latin sicarius, or "dagger-man".

So if Simon Peter is Judas father.. this makes perfect sense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judas_Iscariot
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:26 AM

I suppose it could have been a different Simon.

There's something on this on wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_the_Canaanite

'The apostle Simon, called Simon the Zealot in Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13; and Simon Kananaios .. little is recorded of him aside from his name. ..

The name of Simon occurs in all the passages of the synoptic gospels and Acts that give a list of apostles, without further details.

Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas ["the son" is interpolated] of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Luke 6:12-16, RSV)

To distinguish him from Simon Peter, he is called Kananaios, or Kananites (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18), and in the list of apostles in Luke 6:15, repeated in Acts 1:13, Zelotes, the "Zealot". Both titles derive from the Hebrew word qana, meaning The Zealous,..'


'The 2nd century Epistle of the Apostles (Epistula Apostolorum) [2], a polemic against gnostics, lists him among the apostles purported to be writing the letter (who include Thomas) as Judas Zelotes and certain Old Latin translations of the Gospel of Matthew substitute "Judas the Zealot" for Thaddeus/Lebbaeus in Matthew 10:3. To some readers, this suggests that he may be identical with the "Judas not Iscariot" mentioned in John 14:22:'


I find it a bit confusing. I'll have to read up on it!
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:28 AM

I believe I found an interesting answer -

In the second main etymology, "Iscariot" is considered to be a transformation of the Latin sicarius, or "dagger-man".

So if Simon Peter is Judas father.. this makes perfect sense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judas_Iscariot
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:37 AM

'The apostle Simon, called Simon the Zealot in Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13; and Simon Kananaios


Both titles derive from the Hebrew word qana, meaning The Zealous,..'

That pretty much explains it right there. According to this evidence, Simon the apostle is Simon of the Canaanites

Judas is also the brother of James.
Act:1:13 and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
Joh 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;

Mat 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed, him.

Matthew 10:4 to me is another phrase saying that Judas betrayed his father, and if Simon the apostle is Simon the zealous/Kananites/Canaanite this adds up.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:41 AM

Were there two Simons?

Is this just a smoke-screen?

Simon Peter had the bladed weapon, didn't he? - To chop off the soldier's ear?

And Sicarius means knife-bearer or similar. That is interesting!
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:42 AM

and Simon Zelotes,and Judas the brother of James.

Act1:13
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:44 AM

Who was the father of James?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:47 AM

I've found a quote from an essay online:

'He [Judas Iscariot] happened to know that, in the afternoon when they had left camp, only Simon Peter and Simon Zelotes were girded with swords;'

So, according to this, both Simons had swords. Could this really be one & the same man?

http://www.urantia.org/papers/paper183.html

I have to say that I don't know anything about 'Urantia'.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:49 AM

It's interesting to note that Mary (the Virgin Mary) had sons (or maybe step-sons) named James and Jude.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:50 AM

How was she a virgin if James is Jesus' Brother?
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:52 AM

That explains this verse - Gal 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

It makes me believe the word "brethren" was manufactured to make it harder to distinguish followers from family.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:53 AM

Some useful (?) Bible quotes:

1. Matthew 13:55
' "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?'

2. Mark 6:3
'Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" '

3. Luke 6:16
'Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.'

4. Acts 1:13
'When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.'
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:54 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Freeform:
How was she a virgin if James is Jesus' Brother?
We have discussed this elsewhere. The term 'almah' for 'virgin' could just have meant 'young woman'. Search for 'almah' and you will find the discussion.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 12:55 AM

this changes everything. I need a cigar.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 01:25 AM

Mat1:20 - Joseph, thou son of David

Mat 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

and that about wraps up my curiousities. How can Jesus be called the son of David if it is blood lineage and he has no blood of David from Joseph?
Posted By: MimiVar

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 02:14 AM

Judas and James are not Jesus' brothers. They were the names of his mother Mary's sisters sons, Jesus' cousins. And they aren't necessarily the same James and Judas as the disciples.
Posted By: Poti

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 05:53 AM

Lisa - I have questions about who is who in the Last Supper. If it´s Mary there, where is John? If is Not Peter holding the knife, who is holding it? Can we actually count the feet under the table?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 11:35 AM

Right, the issues of whether Jesus had brothers or not, or whether Mary remained Virgin or not, is discussed elsewhere.

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000017;p=2#000029

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000104;p=3#000030

Topic: Were the disciples Jesus's brothers?
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000276#000000

Topic: Was Jesus' Mom a Virgin?
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000028#000011


Also the possible explanation for Jesus being of the house of David - that it was via his 'step-father', Joseph. Ie not by blood but by family tradition. Or there's even the possibility, of course, that Joseph was his father and the virgin mother myth was stoen from pagan tradition and superimposed.

Topic: Bible answers the questions related to Jesus' birth.
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000462;p=2#000016

Topic: Jesus can not be BOTH "Son Of God" and also descendant of David.
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000031#000000

Now this thread has to be kept on topic: the hand & the knife.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 11:36 AM

[quote]Originally posted by Poti: [b] Lisa - I have questions about who is who in the Last Supper. If it´s Mary there, where is John? If is Not Peter holding the knife, who is holding it? Can we actually count the feet under the table? [/b][/quote]I think Peter is holding the knife - but it is a bit ambiguous. Re Mary and / or John - these issues are discussed on other threads. I've added your questions here: Topic: Mary/John http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=6&t=000042#000002 Welcome to the forum. :)
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 04:00 PM

thanx for that link! http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000031#000000 I am moving the posts there. smile
Posted By: LoginName

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 11:41 PM

Quote:
What do you think the hand and knife really mean? [/QB]
Myself, that is the "natural"position for someone to hold a knife when talking to someone. Try it. It keeps the blade pointing away from you while you are holding it.
Edited to add, who would Judas be ? The one reaching for the bowl with Jesus. Remember the scripture ? Who washes their hands with mine in this bowl will betray me, or something like that.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/25/06 11:48 PM

It also conceals it though. I don't think that he would even be holding the knife unless something was being conveyed. The knife might as well have been on the table, and also the apostle with his hands up is also the one the knife edge is pointed at.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/26/06 12:08 AM

I agree with both of you - I think that there was something symbolic going on here on Leonardo's part.

Welcome LoginName smile
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/26/06 06:28 AM

does anyone know the identity of the apostle with his hands in the air where the knife is angled? I think this could be a very important aspect.
Posted By: simonth

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/26/06 07:37 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Freeform:
does anyone know the identity of the apostle with his hands in the air where the knife is angled? I think this could be a very important aspect.
Thomas
Posted By: cclipse01

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/26/06 09:49 AM

hi all and great site Lisa! i'm not sure if someone else brought this up, but to me it seems as if mary/john is holding the knife. the restored version shows john/mary with both arms in front of him in an ackward angle, yet looks more 'natural' for him/her to be holding the knife in the unrestored version. maybe it was restored in this way to throw us off? even the head 'tilt' looks normal if this was true.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/26/06 04:13 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by cclipse01:
hi all and great site Lisa! i'm not sure if someone else brought this up, but to me it seems as if mary/john is holding the knife. the restored version shows john/mary with both arms in front of him in an ackward angle, yet looks more 'natural' for him/her to be holding the knife in the unrestored version. maybe it was restored in this way to throw us off? even the head 'tilt' looks normal if this was true.
I'd like to agree with you but the span of the arm is much too long to be normal for him/her to be holding the knife and to have it look natural. However, the apostle that looks immediately to be holding the knife is also the one whispering to him/her, and since it can be seen like John/Magdalene could be holding the knife as well, perhaps it's symbolic of the two of them in cahoots on something.
Posted By: linds-chan

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/26/06 06:55 PM

Here are my thoughts on the hand and the knife that is portrayed in Da Vinci's work: After searching through many images taken of the artwork (pre-restored), I have noticed that several areas of the work was blotched or smugged in a way that made it difficult to make out detail. From what I have decifered was not that Peter was holding the knife, but that it is indeed held by Mary Magdalene. However, I am uncertain of why she might be holding a knife. The only possible reasons that I can find is that she may possibly feel threatened by those around her and may fear for the welfare of Jesus and perhaps her own. Since this work was done to portray the time that Jesus foretold of the deceit of one of his disciples, Mary, after hearing this might have felt a pang of threat. Not knowing what to do, when this deceit would take place, or how to react to the foretelling, she might have reached for a knife in case the protection of Jesus was required. As we know, even from the telling of the resurrection, Mary was dedicated enough to her lord to be chosen as the one to witness the resurrection. This may not only symbolize her loyalty but also her willingness to protect Jesus at all costs.

It is possible also that she could be reaching for the knife because she feels personally threatened by those around her, such as Peter who is leaning in to have a whispered confrontation with her.

However, it is also possible that she is merely reaching for the knife to butter her bread... but by the lack of Country Crock on the table, I feel that this is unlikely.

It also seems, that through the blotchiness of the pre-resto version of the work, that Peter may be grabbing her wrist while the dagger is in her hand. It seems that from the position of his arm and the blotch at Mary's wrist area of the pre-resto version, that this is very possible. The way Peter is leaning in and whispering to Mary could be either threatening or soothing. Perhaps threatening because she is disliked by the apostles, favored by Jesus, and/or is viewed as a threat by the apostles. OR (which I feel is the more probable answer) Peter is merely attempting to soothe Mary in her moment of fear and nervousness, coaxing her to set down the knife and not arouse any more hostility or excitement from the rest of the table. I am leaning more towards this because we know that Peter had used the knife in an attempt to defend Jesus. Perhaps after convincing Mary to release the knife, he had taken it from her and had thereafter used it in his moment of defense. I feel that it is also a great possiblity that Peter coaxed her to put down the knife because she was female, and he could have felt that women had no business attempting to protect a man. Another reason for his possible actions were because it was his initial intention, after Mary picked up the knife, to take it from her and be the one to defend Jesus, possibly hoping for Jesus to favor him over her. Some references state that Peter disliked Mary and felt threatened by her gender and Jesus's favoring of her.

These are, of course, only my ideas and feelings on the symbolism of the hand and the knife in Da Vinci's work. I have no proof of this and also admit that I have not much prior knowledge to biblical tellings. I am merely writing on what I see with my own two eyes and attempting to analyze it by applying simple knowledge as well as some aspects from psychology and sociology.
Posted By: linds-chan

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/26/06 07:07 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by LoginName:
Quote:
What do you think the hand and knife really mean?
Myself, that is the "natural"position for someone to hold a knife when talking to someone. Try it. It keeps the blade pointing away from you while you are holding it.
Edited to add, who would Judas be ? The one reaching for the bowl with Jesus. Remember the scripture ? Who washes their hands with mine in this bowl will betray me, or something like that. [/QB]
Judas is indeed the one reaching, along with Jesus, for the bowl. But it also seems that Judas is not paying any heed, at the moment anyway, to the mutual destination, or maybe not to Jesus in general. Perhaps he is merely turned to face Jesus in shock, but from the position of his body, the strain of his neck, and the turn of his head, it seems that he is distracted by the conversation behind him. He does not seem to be distracted in a menacing or aggressive way, but more of concern or worry. This is another reason I feel that the whispering between Peter and Mary isn't threatening.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/26/06 08:54 PM

I also found something interesting when I found a larger resolution, and also older version of the painting... It appears that modifications concerning the knife alone are being made to change how we see it. Take the classic reproduction - http://www.christcenteredmall.com/stores/art/zabateri/last-supper-zoom.jpg

where did the knife go?????

I also compared the older version ( http://www.artstamps.dk/images/909-Last-Supper-Large.jpg ) with the newer version, and found two differences.... in the older version the arm of the disciple doesn't reach over to restrain the knife.... in fact, there is no apparent restraining on Peter's behalf at all. http://www.twocircuits.com/setemp/tone.jpg I have circled the area I am referring to. Next they should give John/Mary a nice long beard and a Budweiser in his hands.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/26/06 09:06 PM

In fact... the two paintings have to be different. If you look at the area of the lighter version where the arm is holding the knife there is yellow surrounding the hand & we don't see this in the other version.
Posted By: simonth

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/26/06 09:25 PM

Yesterday I was at my local bookstore and saw a book which compiled Leonardo's various notebooks extracts, his stretches and notes on them.

In one of the chapter, there was the one which resembled a stretch of the painting 'last supper' and the note accompanied with it (from leonardo apparently), described the scenario in the painting. It mentioned the drawing of a man leaning over to speak to another (Peter and John/Mary), his beloved disciple lying close to him (John and Jesus), etc. The most interesting part about the one which talked about the man (Peter) leaning forward to whisper to the other is the man (John/Mary) who listened, hold a knife in 1 hand.

If these notes are to be believed, all our doubts will be settled i think.
Posted By: simonth

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/26/06 09:31 PM

This is the book I was reading http://bookweb.kinokuniya.co.jp/guest/cgi-bin/bookseaohb.cgi?ISBN=1579124577&AREA=04
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/27/06 02:16 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Max C. Yost:

I have taken pictures of Peter holding the knife behind Judas' back and of me holding the knife behind Judas' back. It was not difficult, even for these arthritic hands to hold the knife as shown in the painting. I believe that had Peter held the knife in any other position, he would have been sticking it into Judas' back, and, after all, Judas was a friend at the table at that time. Therefgore, I believe there is no mystery associated with the knife. I don't know how to transmit these photos to you, but if I could you would see how easy Peter's pose is to copy. My computerese is limited. If you have an e-mail address I can attach these photos to that.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/27/06 03:25 AM

simonth - we know what is "supposedly shown" in the painting. That isn't in question, we all see a knife I think smile . What is in question is the *meaning* behind it. Leonardo did everything with a purpose; he worked on this painting for many years. Why did he position the knife to come out of Judas' back the way he did? Why not put it in a more "normal" position?
Posted By: simonth

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/27/06 04:12 AM

The knife is in a "normal" position if according to Leonardo' notebook. John/Mary was holding onto it. I think this scenario was mentioned by someone in this thread.

Thinking about this, the pair of arms in front of John/Mary could be painted on afterwards or maybe not by Leonardo himself
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/30/06 03:41 PM

I suppose the only real conspiracy here is that they are taking it out of modern day Christian reproductions.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/30/06 06:54 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by simonth:
... the pair of arms in front of John/Mary could be painted on afterwards or maybe not by Leonardo himself
They do look a bit odd, don't they?

But then, there has been a lot of restoration carried out on this work.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/30/06 06:55 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Freeform:
I suppose the only real conspiracy here is that they are taking it out of modern day Christian reproductions.
Are they?

Where did you discover this?
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/30/06 08:48 PM

http://www.christcenteredmall.com/stores/art/zabateri/last-supper-zoom.jpg
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/30/06 08:53 PM

Mmm .. quite a few subtle differences there.
Thanks for the link.
Posted By: da Vinci is not a surname

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/31/06 04:46 PM

THe reason becouse he hold a knife is that leonardo was rapresentig the scene after that Jesus annunced that one of the apostols is going to betray him.
So Peter is asking Johan (who's the apostle spritually nearest to Jesus) who could betray jesus and hold the kinfe in his other hand ready to use it against the traitor.
There are even a teory about the knife, who says that probably is an hint to the knife whith later he'll cut the Malco's (don't know his name in english, sorry)ear. (Mt26,1)
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/31/06 06:45 PM

Yes, I think Peter holding the knife probably is a reference to him cutting off the soldier's ear.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 05/31/06 06:52 PM

That makes the most sense I believe also. My guess is also they took it out of the modern Christian reproduction because it's not necesarilly "proper" to show the violent aspects of an apostle at such an event as the last supper.
Posted By: Peter.J

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/06/06 11:14 AM

Firstly, my apologies if this point has already been made. But I only signed up to this site in order to voice this theory:
Anatomy aside, has anyone else thought that the symbolism of the knife could indeed be that the traitor was NOT JUDAS?! That mabey the knife is in fact being pointed at who Leonardo thought/knew the real traitor was? Or, that whoever is hollding the knife is "stabbing Judas in the back". Perhaps the whole basis for the belief that the victim in Christianity was Jesus is missing the point that the person who was truly screwed over was Judas? Just a thought. Whatever we talk about here, what ever ideas people have, we are still talking about a painting by someone who was around almost one and half thousand years after the event which is the subject of his work.
Also, there are two femanine figures in the painting; these are the only two that have their hands together......weird no?
P.S. Arrested Development (the show, not the band) is the best show to come from the States since Sienfield.
peter.j.m.w.@hotmail.com
Thankyou for your time
Posted By: kimm

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/06/06 12:56 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Peter.J:
That mabey the knife is in fact being pointed at who Leonardo thought/knew the real traitor was?
If u are right..the knife is obviously pointing to Bartolomew.. who raised his hands like wants to say that he did not do anything..

http://tinypic.com/11uf6gj.jpg
http://tinypic.com/11uf6og.jpg

-KIM-
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/06/06 02:08 PM

Welcome Peter! :) [quote]Originally posted by Peter.J: [b] ..has anyone else thought that the symbolism of the knife could indeed be that the traitor was NOT JUDAS?! That mabey the knife is in fact being pointed at who Leonardo thought/knew the real traitor was? Or, that whoever is hollding the knife is "stabbing Judas in the back". ... [/b][/quote]I made this comment on another thread: [i]'I think that it entirely plausible that the knife in Peter's hand could have had a symbolic meaning, as well as illustrating part of a Bible story. After all, it was Judas who, apparently, 'stabbed Jesus in the back'.'[/i] [PDM] Anyway, I was rebuked: [i]'Among, other things, the above statements are examples of what is called “eisegesis”. For example, taking a contemporary phrase (“stabbed in the back”) and reading it back into a much earlier painting/text, an exegetical nightmare and a critical “no-no.”' [austinjalexander][/i] From: Topic: Revisiting the LS Painting http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000365 But, as I said at the time, just because we have no record of the phrase back then does not mean that it didn't exist or that this kind of thing didn't happen. :) :confused:
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/06/06 02:16 PM

The apostle who has the knife 'aimed at' his stomach is Andrew, and he has his hands up in a rather telling gesture.

There have been some other comments on this subject;

Quote:
Originally posted by David C, February 16, 2005:
Hi, I believe that the knife pointing to the heart of Andrew, which is reminiscent of a sacred heart, is a first degree Masonic sign as is the hand accross the throat of MM.
...

http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000115#000002
Quote:
Originally posted by shebner083, May 15, 2006:
Has anyone thought of the possibility that since Peter later used the same knife to defend Jesus later in time, he is using it for the same purpose at the supper? Maybe he is pointing the knife at Andrew because he is defending Jesus from Andrew. Or even more so, maybe he is defending Jesus from Andrew, James Minor, and Bartholomew -- all 3 people to the left of the knife.
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000479#000000
Posted By: kimm

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/06/06 02:24 PM

i was wrong.. i'm sorry
I did not read much comments in this topic.. it has more then 29 pages! smile
Posted By: Peter.J

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/07/06 07:57 AM

Good point made by the person who replied on the previos page regarding relating modern terms to ancient situations. BUT we must also remember that the bible was translated long after it was originally written. I recall hearing that the translation for "betray" (re: Judas) could actually mean "handed over". Much less incriminating isn't it?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/07/06 11:26 AM

Hi Peter, Yes, I think we have to consider a lot of things about the Bible - how much was originally 'oral history'; how much was omitted, altered, wrongly transcribed, misunderstood; the alternative translations; the context, etc, etc.

Re Judas, we have a number of threads ~ if you do a 'search' you should find them.

And, as so many people have said, Leonardo painted his 'Last Supper' centuries after the event, so there is another layer of interpretation, etc. to consider.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/08/06 08:09 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by 99laura:
I am new to the board ... halfway through Dan Brown's book. I am curious about the Last Supper. It does appear that a woman (Mary Magdalene) sits at the right hand of Jesus. In the book, Sophie sees "... a hand emerging from the crowd of disciples. 'Is that had wielding a dagger?'". Langdon says, "Yes. Stranger still, if you count the arms, you'll see that this hand belongs to ... no one at all."
To me, it looked like it did belong to one of the disciples. Has anyone viewed this and seen something different ... that it is possibly an arm belonging to no one?
Posted By: Bill Arthur

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/09/06 08:42 PM

Hello. This is a fascinating subject. The hand with the knife comes accross to me as being almost supernaturally clever in what it represents and communicates! The consideration of this subject has made me admire Leonardo DaVinci more than I did before. I am convinced, after examining the original Last Supper (before it was “restored”), that there is indeed a disembodied hand coming out of Judas’ back. As has been mentioned earlier, an expert anatomy artist like Leonardo DaVinci would not have the Apostle Peter holding the knife and then make it look like he has a broken arm. The hand, with its sleeved wrist is coming out of Judas’ back. Whether or not the people of that time would accept such a thing from DaVinci is answered by the fact that the disembodied hand is there and they did accept it. The spiritual world is as real as the material world and Leonardo, along with his contemporaries, apparently knew that. So DaVinci introduced a spirit into the scene that was indeed present when Jesus announced that one of the disciples would betray Him. The disembodied hand is a spooky and ingenious way of expressing the fact that Satan had entered Judas (Luke 22:3). The Apostle Peter, in the painting, is asking the Apostle John to find out from Christ who it is that will betray Him (John 13:23-24). It wasn’t expected, by the artist, that anyone depicted in the painting would actually be seeing the hand offering the knife, but DaVinci, using artistic license, had Satan, who was in Judas at the time, offer Peter the option to resort to violence in dealing with whomever would dare to betray his Master. In the painting, Peter is only momentarily away from his place at the table, which is on the other side of Judas from John. When Peter returns to his place at the table, the knife (actually the temptation to use violence symbolized with a knife) would be presented to him by Satan. As has been pointed out here before, Peter did fall to the temptation to use violence to deal with this predicament while they were in the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:10). I think Peter already appears to have a menacing countenance in the painting when he is asking John to find out who will betray Christ. Jesus had indicated earlier that Satan had desired, or asked, or demanded (depending on the translation), to test Peter (Luke 22:31). DaVinci depicts Peter being tempted here with violence. I think Leonardo DaVinci was not ignorant of these scriptures and neither were his contemporary patrons.
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/09/06 08:54 PM

Good call on that. It represents betrayal for greed very much.
Posted By: Veritas

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/09/06 10:10 PM

[quote]Originally posted by Bill Arthur: [b] I am convinced, after examining the original Last Supper (before it was “restored”), that there is indeed a disembodied hand coming out of Judas’ back. As has been mentioned earlier, an expert anatomy artist like Leonardo DaVinci would not have the Apostle Peter holding the knife and then make it look like he has a broken arm. The hand, with its sleeved wrist is coming out of Judas’ back. Whether or not the people of that time would accept such a thing from DaVinci is answered by the fact that the disembodied hand is there and they did accept it.[/b][/quote]Umm, Leonardo disagrees with you. The preliminary sketch of the figure of Peter which survives in the collection of Windsor Castle shows clearly that it's Peter holding the knife. Scroll down to [i]The 'Disembodied Hand' in The Last Supper[/i] on [b] [url=http://www.historyvsthedavincicode.com/chapterfiftyeight.htm]this page[/url] [/b] for details.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/10/06 12:00 AM

Welcome Bill Arthur ~ some interesting ideas there. smile

I think that it's quite possible that Leonardo was giving a double meaning, but I doubt that we shall ever know.
Posted By: pinxit

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/10/06 08:35 AM

This is an interesting painting to consider… The paintings depicting this event prior to Leonardo’s rendition is that of a peaceful event. Leonardo captured the event at the time Jesus revealed, that one of the disciples would betray him. This is the most important fact about the painting. Because, we will never truly know what he originally painted. This is due to floods, moss, age, and type of materials. Also, at one point the only thing barely visible was a basic outline of the disciples and Jesus. So, the facial expressions are someone other than Leonardo’s interpretation. Do you think the numerous restorations over the years to be 100% accurate? The question about the dagger and the hand is interesting… I wonder if this was possibly something else… Interpreted wrong from the beginning... Leonardo never hid anything he usually put it in your face “he liked grand statements”. Or if this is what it is? I suggest looking into and researching some of his other paintings. One last point Leonardo knew at the time this painting was not going to last the ages… I wonder if I had something of such great importance to reveal… Would I knowing let it live on in the form that I knew would not last?
Posted By: SouthSideSlim

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/10/06 03:52 PM

pinxit,

Terrific post. Thank you and welcome.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/10/06 06:27 PM

Hi pinxit

You are right about all that wear and tear and the restorations.

That's why I think that it's worth looking at the early copies ~ to see how similar - or not - they are to what we now have.

Welcome smile
Posted By: rochlen

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/13/06 01:25 AM

Am I on crazy pills? It's so obvious that Mary is holding the knife, Peter is holding Mary's hand and telling her in her ear to not shank Judas, Andrew is shocked that Mary would "pull a knife" on Judas(who is obviously the one who betrayed Christ).

Holy xxxx, I figured the whole thing out in about 10 minutes.
Posted By: Bill Arthur

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/13/06 02:31 AM

Thanks Veritas for the link to that page on the preliminary sketch of the figure of Peter. I question, however, whether or not the hand of Peter was supposed to be holding a knife, since in that sketch there is no knife in his hand. The people who restored the painting and changed the hand with the knife to fit Peter’s arm might have referred to that preliminary sketch to do what they did, but even in that preliminary sketch the hand of Peter is only lightly drawn and the reason for that is probably because the artist intended for the hand to be hidden behind Judas’ back and not the hand that was displayed holding the knife. I am not really hurt at all if Leonardo disagrees with me if he actually painted Peter as if Peter has a broken arm when he could have done so much better. I don’t think he did that. The hand with the knife is an expression of the supernatural and how entities in that realm try to persuade people.
Posted By: Veritas

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/13/06 10:04 AM

[quote]Originally posted by Bill Arthur: [b] Thanks Veritas for the link to that page on the preliminary sketch of the figure of Peter. I question, however, whether or not the hand of Peter was supposed to be holding a knife, since in that sketch there is no knife in his hand.[/b][/quote]Because the sketch concentrates on getting Peter's arm right and the superimposed image of the sketch and the painting show that the two match exactly. The only reason it doesn't look like the knife is in Peter's hand is that (if you look at Peter's wrist in the detail of the painting) the paint has come away from the wall almost completely at that point. [quote][b]The people who restored the painting and changed the hand with the knife to fit Peter’s arm might have referred to that preliminary sketch to do what they did, but even in that preliminary sketch the hand of Peter is only lightly drawn and the reason for that is probably because the artist intended for the hand to be hidden behind Judas’ back and not the hand that was displayed holding the knife.[/b][/quote]Er, says who? Is this your personal theory with some evidence to back it up or simply some wishful thinking which allows you to continue the believe in this 'disembodied' hand despite the evidence? Why is it that no-one even noticed this 'disembodied hand' before alien/occult 'researchers' Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince published their book [i]The Templar Revelation[/i] in 1998? It's not as though we haven't had people examining every detail of this painting for centuries on end, yet no-one even noticed this 'original' disembodied hand in all those years. Strange, no? [quote][b]I am not really hurt at all if Leonardo disagrees with me if he actually painted Peter as if Peter has a broken arm when he could have done so much better.[/b][/quote]I just picked up my dinner knife and adopted exactly the stance Peter has in that painting. I'm happy to report that my arm is not broken as a result. [quote][b]The hand with the knife is an expression of the supernatural and how entities in that realm try to persuade people. [/b][/quote]Er, where did you get this interpretation from? Peter is holding that bread knife for the same reason Judas has a purse of coins on the table - they are both prefigurements of what is about to happen. Judas later betrays Jesus for money while Peter draws a sword to defend Jesus, but winds up running away and then denying he knows Jesus.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/13/06 10:20 PM

You have seen the Leonardo sketch for the hand with knife. If not, look here: Topic: The Hand and The Knife http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000002;p=12#000174 But have you seen that both Som & Lisa have taken photos of themselves in that position: Topic: The Hand and The Knife http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000002;p=20 It's worth remembering that there are some early copies, that show what the painting looked like before degradation and restoration: Here are some links to 'Last Supper' images: Hi-resolution image of Leonardo’s ‘Last Supper’: http://milano.arounder.com/PROJECTS/SANTA_MARIA_DELLE_GRAZIE/ The Da Vinci Museum, Tongerlo, Belgium has an early copy of this work; Homepage: http://www.tongerlo.org/da_vinci/davinci_home.htm Last Supper Image: http://www.tongerlo.org/da_vinci/avondmaal.htm Details of another early copy here (click on image for larger view): http://www.racollection.org.uk/ixbin/hixclient.exe?submit-button=SUMMARY&$03/1230%20index%20mus_obj_parts=.&_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXSPFX_=full/t Some references to copies: http://altreligion.about.com/library/davinci/bl_lastsuppercopy.htm
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/13/06 10:24 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by rochlen:
Am I on crazy pills? It's so obvious that Mary is holding the knife, Peter is holding Mary's hand and telling her in her ear to not shank Judas, Andrew is shocked that Mary would "pull a knife" on Judas(who is obviously the one who betrayed Christ).

Holy xxxx, I figured the whole thing out in about 10 minutes.
But are you right or are you wrong?? confused

Welcome smile
Posted By: Freeform

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/13/06 10:25 PM

I think he did it just to confuse people.
Posted By: rochlen

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/13/06 11:02 PM

You xxxx'd out the c word in my post and now it looks like I said the s word!!!! Just so everyone knows.....I didn't originally write the S word. I'm not that big of a xxxxhead....
Posted By: Bill Arthur

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/16/06 01:18 PM

One can refer to copies and reproductions and photographs of people holding a knife like Peter in those copies and reproductions, but when I view images of the original I can plainly see that, although the deterioration has made it impossible for me to see the tip of the knife and determine if it was indeed a “butter knife,” the angle of Peter’s right forearm is not possibly connected to the hand with the knife. The deterioration is not so bad that I can’t see that. This can plainly be seen at: http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/handknife.html where Lisa shows a a zoomed in version of the image where the arm of Peter is outlined in blue and the hand with the knife is outlined in black for clarity.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/16/06 07:41 PM

Just for comparison:


Posted By: overflood

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/06 02:54 AM

Hi everyone... Just stumbled across this forum, and I enjoyed reading the first and 30th pages. I have been trying to find the answer myself... I don't think Peter's resting his hand on his hip or anything like that... The palm i clearly facing forward and yes it hurts to bend like that. And i don't think it's someone hidden's hand - as someone said, Leonardo was too subtle for that. I saw a note of Leonardo's depicting Peter's hand, and scrawled on it, was something about a man's hand in pain. To me it looked like an invisible force was grabbing Peter's arm, like they do in action movies, bending it. Peter should be in great pain even though he doesn't appear so. But here's my little theory: Peter is right behind Judas's back. One could believe that the devil was behind Judas, convincing him to betray Jesus. Perhaps Leonardo is showing that the devil is wrestling the knife out of Peter's hand, maybe Peter was going to try to kill Judas or whatever. Basically, an invisible presence is bending Peter's arm.

If this had already been discussed I'm sorry, but I'm not going to read through 30 pages of a forum.
Posted By: Efrain

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/06 03:35 AM

Ok everyone this is just a little assumption i am making it may have already been said but the red arrows I have created show something interesting... you can see a clothing piece near the hand with the knife. It looks like the end cuff of a sleeve jutting out where the knife is, it is an exact match and lined with the knife. So maybe there is a hidden person. Maybe refering to hidden dangers and hardships that jesus and his followers may have had.
Posted By: Veritas

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/06 07:42 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Efrain:
Ok everyone this is just a little assumption i am making it may have already been said but the red arrows I have created show something interesting... you can see a clothing piece near the hand with the knife. It looks like the end cuff of a sleeve jutting out where the knife is, it is an exact match and lined with the knife. So maybe there is a hidden person. Maybe refering to hidden dangers and hardships that jesus and his followers may have had.
There is no doubt whose hand it is - Peter's. Leonardo's own preliminary sketches show us that quite clearly.

http://www.historyvsthedavincicode.com/chapterfiftyeight.htm

(Scroll down to the section entitled 'The 'Disembodied Hand' in The Last Supper')

It's a bit hard to argue with Leonardo's own sketches.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/06 10:07 PM

I think it's Peter's hand, but whether or not Leonardo was concealing an additional message, I don't know.

The Leonardo sketch is included in the pictures for comparison above. It's small, but you can see how it compares to the final 'Last Supper' and to real people putting their arm into that position.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 06/22/06 10:12 PM

Hi Overflood.

It seems that almost everyone has his or her own theory on this.

Welcome smile
Posted By: ArtGirl

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 08/04/06 12:33 AM

hello everyone, i have stumbled apon this forum and have read most of the discussion points and i would like to add a little bit of my own knowledge.

I have been studying art, the masters' painting process for many years now, and am a realist artist myself. I must agree with those of you that said that every single detail in a painting of this type is increadibly maticulously planned and concidered. Everything to the objects placed on the table

With that in mind, it is common sense to any realist that all "simbolic" or "strange" positions or objects were put there very diliberately. Any serious realist today will tell you so.

Now, as to the hand position itself.

When doing studies, a realist must consider the 3 dimentions of the pose. If you look closely(look at the position of his head for instance), you will see that peter is cleary tipping about 45% away from the table. this is very important because that results in his elbow coming out towards us, slightly forshortening his whole arm.

Why does this matter?

I have done many studies and copies for practice of the last supper, and for refence have tried the position myself infront of the mirror. If you do it by tippig your whole body back a bit, and extending your elbow slightly forward, you will see that it is a very natural position, and the knife will just fall into place like that.

I invite you all to try it at home.

I am not addressing as to the reason Leonardo used this pose, but i can definitely testify that is it a very natural one.
Posted By: ArtGirl

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 08/04/06 12:37 AM

to add to what i said,

those of you who have posted pictures of you own attempts you might want to alter the way you place yourself, if you look with a critical eye, both possitions are a bit off, you have consider all three dimentions.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 08/04/06 01:06 AM

Hi ArtGirl thanks for the tip ~ and welcome! smile
Posted By: sketch56

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 08/08/06 04:58 PM

Mabey Leonardo used picture writing words to sound out. Ever notice the hands are in possition of numbers, interesting thought. Was the challis put away after the supper was over?
Posted By: sketch56

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 08/08/06 04:59 PM

Mabey Leonardo used picture writing words to sound out. Ever notice the hands are in possition of numbers, interesting thought. Was the challis put away after the supper was over?
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 08/08/06 07:29 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by sketch56:
Mabey Leonardo used picture writing words to sound out. Ever notice the hands are in possition of numbers, interesting thought.

Could you explain. confused

Was the challis put away after the supper was over?

There were still glasses on the table.

Posted By: sketch56

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 08/09/06 03:26 PM

Leonardo put a challis in the picture called The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and the Infant St. John, a discovery made within the picture.
Just a thought that just maybe the challis was in another picture not the Last supper, just a thought. Yes I have found a Challis in this picture and in the Mona Lisa as well, to be published in a book soon. I have to say that back in those days picture writing for a word or sounds of words were used alot.
Posted By: sketch56

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 08/15/06 06:39 PM

Please show us an easier way to load up a picture on research
Posted By: Fladragonfyre

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/25/06 02:06 AM

Look at the colors of the mystery hands shirt sleve and look at the color of Peters shirt. THEY MATCH!!!
No Mystery man needed. Peter is the knife weilder.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 11/25/06 01:08 PM

Hi and welcome Fladragonfyre.

Yes, it looks like Peter's hand to me, too.
Posted By: Bron

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/11/06 04:53 AM

Hi...um i just got finished watching the da vinci code and decided to do alittle research wheni stumbled across your site..very cool...

anyway i opened the link for Zoomify and was taking a closer look at the "hand holding the knife". i have read many of the postings and i believe that all of the mentioned scenarios are POSSIBLE but i dont believe we will ever really know what Da vinci was thinking at the time he created this work of art..i do however agree that anything that divinci added to this scene was added with a very specific purpose...

that being said i would like to offer my own opinion...while studying the painting i noticed that peters hand is extended beyond the reasonable size for a human hand (in my opinion atleast) and as you have already mentioned da vinci was a master at anatomy so i dont believe this was done on accident...it is possible that maybe something happened to make it appear different (it isnt the clearest picture) but to me it looks as if someone, i dont know who, was holding a knife and peter was holding thier wrist as if to keep them from doing whatever it was that they were going to do...

i also believe that if Da vinci had intended the knife have anything to do with Judas and "stabbing in the back" the blade would actually be pointed in his direction...

thank you for your time i hope to get some feedback...
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/11/06 08:42 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Bron:
Hi...um i just got finished watching the da vinci code and decided to do alittle research wheni stumbled across your site..very cool...

Glad you like it ~ welcome! smile

anyway i opened the link for Zoomify and was taking a closer look at the "hand holding the knife". i have read many of the postings and i believe that all of the mentioned scenarios are POSSIBLE but i dont believe we will ever really know what Da vinci was thinking at the time he created this work of art..

No, we couldn't possibly ~ I agree with you.

i do however agree that anything that divinci added to this scene was added with a very specific purpose...

Again, I agree

that being said i would like to offer my own opinion...while studying the painting i noticed that peters hand is extended beyond the reasonable size for a human hand (in my opinion atleast) and as you have already mentioned da vinci was a master at anatomy so i dont believe this was done on accident...

On the other hand, have you noticed how large Leonardo makes some people's hands?

Check out Mary's hand in 'The Virgin of the Rocks' ~ and there are others, too.

it is possible that maybe something happened to make it appear different (it isnt the clearest picture) but to me it looks as if someone, i dont know who, was holding a knife and peter was holding thier wrist as if to keep them from doing whatever it was that they were going to do...

Yes, it's true that the picture isn't clear ~ and this does seem to be an alternative possibility.

i also believe that if Da vinci had intended the knife have anything to do with Judas and "stabbing in the back" the blade would actually be pointed in his direction...

The blade seems to be 'aimed' at Andrew, I think it is, for some reason.

thank you for your time i hope to get some feedback...

Thanks for posting. smile

Posted By: Alethia

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/31/06 08:29 PM

It's been 3 years since I read Dan Brown's book, and while I found it very well-paced, I was disappointed that the deep secret he presented was that Jesus had a wife. Why did the thought of it provoke all this attention? DaVinci's art, on the other hand, should be truly thought-provoking.

The church paints Jesus as the Saviour, the Christ, God himself. But stepping back a bit, the core of the Jesus story--dogma excluded--is the story of a man who was executed for speaking against religious authorities. Ironically, he became the fuel for others to share his fate.

If this truth was not lost on DaVinci, his idea of Jesus' betrayal would have been very different from the published account.

DaVinci's Last Supper is really contradictory to the account recorded in the Bible. The room should be fully furnished. It's bare but for the table. It should be in the city. It appears to be countryside. It took place in the evening. DaVinci's sky is lit, and there is not even a lamp ready for twilight. The bread is leavened. John is a girl. The painting is in stark disagreement with the the Bible.

DaVinci leaves out more than just the cup of Christ. He omits the Christ. If DaVinci wanted to portray MM as the holy grail, he might have at least painted Jesus as holy. Instead of giving him a crown or a holy aura as expected, he portrayed him blocking the natural light to the room. Jesus is unremarkably human.

It was the church that painted Jesus as divine. Peter is credited with founding the church. In the painting, Peter's motion pushes Judas to the front holding the bag. Peter is in control of the hand that wields the knife.

Did DaVinci purposely contradict both the small details and the larger doctrine of the Bible? Did he portray Jesus as a human being who spoke against religious authority and suffered the ultimate betrayal not only by execution but also by his transformation into the icon for which others became victims of religious persecution?
Posted By: Berzelmayr

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 12/31/06 08:52 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Alethia:
John is a girl.
No, he isn't. I really wish that long hair wouldn't have been so fashionable 5 centuries ago..... :rolleyes:
Posted By: FreePhil

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/01/07 02:54 AM

I agree with Satya. The caracter on the right of JC definitely looks like a woman. There are only three characters without a beard, the 2 others have pronounced male features. There is no way the one on the right of Jesus could remotely pass for a man. That only fact is very obvious and very startling.
Posted By: Berzelmayr

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/01/07 01:50 PM

Okay....... and who is this: http://www.billik.mysteria.cz/Billis294.JPG
A man or woman? cool
Posted By: Bron

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/02/07 06:46 AM

looks like a woman to me...high cheekbones...and he/she def. looks like they have boobs...but please correct me if im wrong...
Posted By: Berzelmayr

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/02/07 01:28 PM

The person from this photo is a so called "teen idol" from Germany. His name is Bill Kaulitz and he is currently 17 years old (the photo seems to be quite recent).
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/02/07 01:58 PM

Welcome to the new members:
Alethia, FreePhil & Bron
smile smile smile

* * *

I know that there are lots of young men who could pass as young women, but I just don't think that it is possible to be 100% certain of whether or not Leonardo might be suggesting that 'the beloved disciple' could have been female.
Posted By: Berzelmayr

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/02/07 06:06 PM

....Only that from Leonardo's viewpoint one theory would make a lot of sense and that is giving the "beloved disciple" John the look of his own "beloved disciple" Salai (Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno) (did I mention that St. John was even the patron Saint for painters?)

We do know that a "queer reading" of the relationship between Jesus and John isn't really new, but in fact centuries old and it's much more believable that Leonardo wanted to express that (he would be still on a safe side as the Dominican monks, who saw this painting, surely didn't know anything about Salai), while turning Jesus into a heterosexual husband wouldn't fit to his own private life as he never married (like other important artists of the Renaissance, too).
Posted By: Bron

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/02/07 08:41 PM

thats a guy? wow...while obviously a person can be wrong about something like that...but about the issue as to whether the person in the picture is really a man or a woman i dont think that you should use that picture as a basis...back when christ was alive they didnt have the luxury of makeup to hide thier true sex....whereas today if one wanted to decieve people all would need is alittle makeup and the right haircut....
Posted By: Berzelmayr

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/07/07 06:14 PM

This was a modern example, but here is something that predates Leonardo's "Last Supper" by more than 150 years. It's a drawing I made recently after a Photo from an book about Gothic art (the head from a gravestone of a German nobleman named Kuno von Falkenstein):

(you just have to trust me that I did this realisticly wink
Posted By: kwonsho

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/20/07 04:35 AM

Ok, I stumbled upon this website and couldn't help but get drawn into the discussion about the Last Supper painting. But I don't think it's that hard to figure out what Leonardo was trying to hint at with the knife.

I'm a Christian and have studied the Bible. During the last supper, Jesus says one of the disiple's will deny him. Peter responds that he would never do such a thing. Jesus then tells Peter that he will deny him 3 times before the rooster crows. After Jesus gets arrested, 3 people recognize Peter as a disciple and 3 times Peter denies even knowing Jesus. The knife is pointing towards Peter and obviously shows that he will "stab" or hurt himself by denying Jesus. Leonardo hints to the future with Judas's bag of coins so why couldn't he hint at Peter's future denial of Jesus?

I also noticed someone asked about Judas and Jesus's hands and their open grasping position. Jesus said that whoever reached into the bowl at the same time as him would be the one to betray him. So Leonardo showed them both reaching for the bread or whatever.
Posted By: Berzelmayr

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/20/07 10:23 AM

Peter's knife is actually a reference to John 18,10 :
"Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus."
Posted By: Jonathan

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/24/07 05:22 AM

I have looked very closely at the "hand/knife" scene and it looks to me like if you removed Judas? from this scene you would see a whole other person behind him. It looks like the hand on Mary's shoulder and the hand with the knife belong to the same person and this person is being shoved down by Peter?. This means you can't see the person's head, just the hands. Sort of like someone being shoved backwards and the automatic reaction would be to reach forward. This would also account for there only being 11 disciple and Mary. The 12th disciple is hidden from view behind Judas?. Just a thought. I noted that a few others share this idea. I am like a lot of you in that I don't have a solid answer either. But it sure is fun to explore!

I do believe that the person sitting next to Jesus is Mary Magdelene. The feminine look is way too prominent. Since I am new to all this I have a question that has probably already been answered somewhere in this jungle of posts but I just haven't found it yet: How do you know who is who? I mean, of course Jesus is at the center, but how can we be able to tell which disciple is which? Remember, I am completely new to this whole thing. I just watched the movie last night and never thought of any of this before. As a matter of fact, I have this same picture in my room and have looked at it every day for 13 years and I never noticed the knife! Anyway, thanks for a great forum.
Jonathan
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/24/07 01:05 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan:
... I am like a lot of you in that I don't have a solid answer either. But it sure is fun to explore!

Yes, it is, and regardless of whether or not any of us come up with the right answer, at least we are seeking.

Welcome to the forum! smile

I do believe that the person sitting next to Jesus is Mary Magdelene. The feminine look is way too prominent.

Fair enough ~ something else that it is difficult to be sure of, I think.

...How do you know who is who? ....Jonathan

I think Leonardo made some annotated sketches ~ not sure of the details.

For us, Lisa has provided the info:
'Names of Apostles in The Last Supper'
http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/names.html


See:
Topic: Lisa's Info Pages & 'Last Supper' Links
http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000263
Posted By: sketch56

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/24/07 05:57 PM

I have brought this up before and I shall again.
I believe that the figure in the last supper to the right of Christ is not John or Mary Magdelene but one of "Mary" the mother of Christ,the true blood line.
Yes people will say that the youth of her is to youg,but the youth of her also shows a divine youth, and if you compare ages then the youth of Mary and Christ when he dies makes even more sence.There are many woman in life that look this young with a son of this age.Adevine look of youth Mary mother of Christ.
http://www.lionardofromvinci.com
Posted By: sketch56

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/24/07 06:01 PM

I also believe the hands shown by each person in the Last Supper represent a code of numbers to writings in the Bible.
http://www.lionardofromvinci.com/arnovalley.html
Posted By: say_miss_polli

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/24/07 11:47 PM

Hello. I’m not sure where to post this, so after some considerations decided to put it up here, I am writing this as a personal opinion about your Women in Church (Engraving of witch being apprehended) article. We do know that alleged witches were burned alive or hung over a five century interval -- from the 14th to the 18th century -- the vast majority was tried from 1550 to 1650. So in all that time people lived in fear of death which by all means should’ve be taken into the account. I’m not quite sure why you stress the number of 50,000 (-100,000) since you have clearly made everyone understand that this book is the work of fiction not truth.. I am Russian and although many countries in Europe largely escaped the burning times: Ireland executed only four witches, Russia only ten, (the craze affected mostly Switzerland, Germany and France), my ancestors were petrified of churches’ doings and their will to destroy for the sake of power attainment, gaining of control. You said that both men and women were slain in those times, its all true, however only a substantial minority of victims -- about 25% -- were male. I am a hereditary witch, and am very passionate about this topic due to the obvious reasons - I say let the man write, let him exadurate a little, let it be a point of time when people shocked by the big number in the book start doing their own research on the topic, and see that even though it was on the high side – it was spot on about the past bloodthirsty nature of the church! vinum sabbati
Posted By: sketch56

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/25/07 12:21 AM

WHAT??????????????????????? WRONG ROOM!!!!!
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/25/07 09:27 AM

[quote]Originally posted by say_miss_polli: [b] Hello. I’m not sure where to post this, so after some considerations decided to put it up here, I am writing this as a personal opinion about your Women in Church (Engraving of witch being apprehended) article. ...[/b][/quote]Hi and welcome say_miss_polli. As a new member, may I please ask you to read all rules & guidelines, If you have not already done so. Thank you. All threads must be kept on topic and this one is about 'the hand and the knife' in Leonardo's painting of 'The Last Supper'. If you wish to discuss a subject, and cannot find a suitable existing thread, then go to the top of the main page for your chosen subject area, and click on 'New Topic'. See: http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=6 If you want to find a relevant thread, then click on the 'search' option. If you are referring back to something that someone else has posted, or to one of Lisa's articles (or, indeed, to any other web page) please give the page reference and, where necessary, a brief quote. Thank you. :) Lisa's page on Women in the Church http://www.lisashea.com/hobbies/art/women.html I am going to add your post to our thread: 'Witches'. I hope that this is ok for you. http://www.wineintro.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000205#000000
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/25/07 09:30 AM

OK ~

Now back to Leonardo's 'Last Supper', that hand & that knife!!

After 32 pages, is there anything left to say!!??
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/13/07 03:10 PM

Orginally posted by catnip:

'is the knife from Judas back, or pointing at James?
Maybe Judas was innocent and James the true betrayer'


http://www.wineintro.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=160101&page=1#Post160101
Posted By: pete186

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/24/07 12:32 PM

I agree there is a hidden person behind Judas. The hand in front of Judas reaching for the bread and the hand holding the knife are from this hidden person. If I reach for something I'm usually looking at it. Note the skin tone on the hand in front of Judas as well. I think this was davinci's way of including Mary.
Posted By: PDM

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 03/24/07 07:39 PM

Welcome to the forum, pete186 smile

Hi.
I am not convinced that the skintone will be very relevant, because the picture has been restored so many times since Leonardo completed the original.
Posted By: Berzelmayr

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 04/02/07 01:51 PM

Pete, tell me a good reason why he should have included Mary.
Posted By: Raggedpost

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/20/18 04:48 AM

Haven't read all the posts in this particular thread so I apologize if this comment has been made already.

The knife is in keeping with the slaying of the Passover lamb which took place on the afternoon before Passover. Perhaps the lamb was about to be slaughtered when Jesus called the ritual to a halt by stating that his own sacrifice of body and blood was enough. This would cause the commotion depicted in daVinci's painting.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/24/18 03:00 AM

This particular scene that Leonardo da Vinci was painting is reasonably well documented in the Bible, so he was attempting to portray that scene accurately. I don't believe lamb was mentioned in it in that context.
Posted By: Raggedpost

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/28/18 02:48 AM

Hi Lisa. Both Mark and Luke mention the disciples asking Jesus about the preparation of the Passover Lamb. Hebrews 10:5 (NIV) speaks of Christ's intent to end sacrifices. John describes the dialogue about the betrayal as occurring after the meal.

The slaying of the Passover Lamb was a centuries old ritual in the Jewish tradition. The painting of the Last Supper was commissioned by a Roman Catholic. DsVinci's portrayal of the Last Supper is depicting the end of Christ's association with Judaism and His entrance into the Catholic faith.

I find it highly unlikely that Peter was set to kill anybody sitting at the table.
Posted By: Lisa Shea

Re: The Hand and The Knife - 01/28/18 11:25 PM

In Matthew 27:62-66 -

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+27%3A62-66

it's indicated that Jesus died on preparation day. So the last supper wouldn't be involved directly with that. I don't think the knife had anything to do with lambs.

The commotion is generally agreed upon to be in response to the betrayal comment, not about body and blood. I believe we have Leonardo's own notes on this. We also have his studies with the apostles identified by name.

The entire scene shown by Leonardo da Vinci is made up. People back then didn't sit at a table, never mind all at one long one, all on one side. They sat on the floor on cushions. This was a staged scene so it looked out over a 'cafeteria' in essence, so the people in the room could feel like they were eating with their holy kin.
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