A few days ago, I had the good fortune to cross something off my bucket list. I was in Milan for a few days and visited Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’. I thought I would describe my experience. First, you must book your tickets in advance, as time slots are given out. You can’t just show up and buy a ticket to enter. I saw many people turned away. After you’re admitted, you’re taken through two cool rooms to lower your body temperature before you can enter the chapel. Finally, you’re allowed in with a guide, who gives a wonderful explanation about the painting. A visit lasts for 15 minutes. The guide spoke for about ten minutes, and then you could sit for a few more minutes and take in the view.
I don’t think there are enough words to describe the experience of standing in the room. A lot of work has been done to restore it and although it’s fading, you can still see quite a lot of detail. The room itself is dimly lit and no one really spoke. I myself was lost in thought. Da Vinci was one of the first painters who truly inspired me and he still remains my favorite. He put in quite a lot of conceptual thought into this piece and he took a risk. The technique he used ended up not being the best choice, but he still tried something different. Art is all about risk taking and I admire him for not playing it safe. It’s our loss, true, if the painting itself will fade away entirely, but I didn’t think about that while I stood there. In the end, I had this deep sense of gratitude and wonder and I plan on returning.