The Light of Christ

On the eve of Corpus Christi, I figured I would look at one of my favorite artworks of the Last Supper.

Now, there are a lot of beautiful artworks depicting the Last Supper that are magnificent and popular for their technical detail, perspective, and just the history behind them. In many of these artworks, each disciple is richly characterized, the perspective is simply grandiose and epic, and merely looking at the image takes your breath away with the grandness of it all. And those images are wonderful and special in their own way!

And yet… this may be one of my favorite depictions of the Last Supper:

The Last Supper, c. 18th century. Museo Nacional de Arte, Ciudad de México, México. Via
The Last Supper, c. 18th century. Museo Nacional de Arte, Ciudad de México, México.

It’s a simple devotional image in which the disciples gather around Jesus and He blesses the bread for the Last Supper. In fact, His fingers are raised up in the sign of benediction and blessing.

The artist is unknown — indeed, images of the Eucharist and of the Last Supper were very common among Spain and its colonial territories around the time this was made.

And yet, I love this particular place for its simple portrayal of the Last Supper.

I love it for the intimate setting where it places Jesus and His disciples together in a simple and unadorned room, save for a red curtain above.

I love it that, though flames overhead dance in the chandeliers above, the real light seems to radiate from Jesus and His Holy Face. In fact, this light is so radiant that there are even shadows cast by this light!

I love how His disciples seem to lean forward to listen to Him, as if to share in this light.

For this picture truly emphasizes that Christ is the Light of the world. And, by sharing in the Eucharist, which He has commanded us to partake in, we are allowed to take part of this light and allow it to guide us through some of the darkest times in our lives.

May you all have a blessed Corpus Christi! And may you never be afraid to walk in the light of Christ.

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of four, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer.

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