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The visual fortune of Leonardo and Michelangelo: The Last Supper and Sistine Chapel from photography to cinema

Head: Tommaso Casini

Year 2019

The research project is the evolution - newly formulated - of a multi-year journey in stages, to which was dedicated a day of study (Vatican Museums, 9 June 2016) and the ongoing participation in the IULM departmental project, "Milan seen by others", run by Prof. Simona Moretti, which also resulted in the publication of the essay "The Last Supper of Leonardo as a perennial remake" (2018). The project aims at the conclusion of the research and the publication of a Volume/Catalogue. The editorial work aims to offer an in-depth comparative historical-critical investigation into the use of printing, photography, film, television, the web, today's re-enactment performances and augmented reality, as techniques and tools that have changed and expanded the possibilities to know and make known two famous works of Italian art: The Last Supper painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery (1495-1498) and the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo (Ceiling: 1508-1512 / Final Judgement: 1535-1541). It also verified how the means of visual translation and serial reproduction have fed and transformed the myth of the two works, in particular between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries.

The aim is to critically investigate in particular the osmotic relationship created between photographic interpretation and the film narrative potential of the moving image, always considering its relationship with the original from which media products - and today's immersive hyper-media - inevitably break free and produce other forms of art. The creation of the Volume/Catalogue will bring together some specific critical essays and the catalogue of audiovisual materials produced from the 20th century to the present day on the Last Supper and Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.