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Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci

Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci

The refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie forms an integral part of this architectural complex, begun in Milan in 1463 and reworked at the end of the 15th century by Bramante. On the north wall is The Last Supper, the unrivalled masterpiece painted between 1495 and 1497 by Leonardo da Vinci, whose work was to herald a new era in the history of art.

L'église et le couvent dominicain de Santa Maria delle Grazie avec « La Cène » de Léonard de Vinci

Partie intégrante d'un ensemble architectural édifié à Milan à partir de 1463 et remanié à la fin du XVe siècle par Bramante, le réfectoire du couvent de Sainte-Marie-des-Grâces conserve sur sa paroi nord un chef-d'œuvre incontesté, La Cène, peint de 1495 à 1497 par Léonard de Vinci, qui a ouvert une ère nouvelle dans l'histoire de l'art.

كنيسة سيدة النعم والدير الدومينيكي التابع لها مع رسم

تشكل قاعة طعام دير سيدة النعم جزءًا لا يتجزأ من مجموعة هندسية شيِّدت في ميلانو ابتداءً من العام 1463 وأُصلحت في نهاية القرن الخامس عشر على يد برامانت وهي تحتفظ على جدارها الشمالي بتحفة لا متنازع عليها، هي العشاء السري ، الذي رسمه ليوناردو دا فنتشي بين العامين 1495 و1497 وهي تحفة فتحت أبواب حقبة جديدة من تاريخ الفن.

source: UNESCO/ERI



source: UNESCO/ERI

Церковь и доминиканский монастырь Санта-Мария-делла-Грацие c фреской Леонардо да Винчи

Трапезная монастыря Санта-Мария-делла-Грацие представляет неотъемлемую часть этого архитектурного комплекса, основанного в Милане в 1463 г. и перестроенного в конце XV в. архитектором Браманте. На северной стене находится «Тайная вечеря» – непревзойденный шедевр, созданный в 1495-1497 гг. Леонардо да Винчи, чье творчество провозгласило новую эру в истории искусства.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Iglesia y convento dominico de Santa Maria delle Grazie con “La Cena” de Leonardo de Vinci

Construido en Milán a partir del año 1463 y reformado por Bramante a finales del siglo XV, el conjunto arquitectónico del convento de Santa Maria delle Grazie alberga en la pared norte de su refectorio una obra maestra sin parangón en el mundo: el fresco de “La última cena”, pintado entre 1495 y 1497 por Leonardo da Vinci, que abrió una nueva era en la historia del arte.

source: UNESCO/ERI


source: NFUAJ

Kerk en Dominicaans klooster van Santa Monica delle Grazie

De refter van het Santa Maria delle Grazie klooster vormt een integraal onderdeel van dit architecturale complex in Milaan. In 1463 is de bouw hiervan gestart en aan het einde van de 15e eeuw werd het complex bewerkt door Bramante. Op de noordelijke muur is het ongeëvenaarde meesterwerk ‘Het Laatste Avondmaal’ afgebeeld, geschilderd tussen 1495 en 1497 door Leonardo da Vinci, wiens werk een nieuw tijdperk inluidde in de kunstgeschiedenis. De afbeelding van Da Vinci toont het moment direct nadat Christus zei: “Eén van jullie zal mij verraden”. De 12 apostelen reageerden hier verschillend op en hun bewegingen en uitdrukkingen zijn prachtig uitgebeeld in het werk.

Source: unesco.nl

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Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci © OUR PLACE The World Heritage Collection
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan forms an integral part of this architectural complex, begun in 1463 and reworked at the end of the 15th century by Bramante. On the north wall is The Last Supper, the unrivalled masterpiece painted between 1495 and 1497 by Leonardo da Vinci, whose work was to herald a new era in the history of art. The complex, including the Church and Convent, was built from 1463 onwards by Guiniforte Solari, and was afterwards considerably modified at the end of 15th century by Bramante, one of the masters of the Renaissance. Bramante structurally enlarged the church and added large semi-circular apses, a wonderful drum-shaped dome surrounded by columns, and a spectacular cloister and refectory.

The painting was commissioned in 1495 and completed in 1497. The representation by Leonardo da Vinci depicted the moment immediately after Christ said, “One of you will betray me”. Leonardo rejected the classical interpretation of the composition and had Jesus in the midst of the Apostles; he also created four groups of three figures on either side of Christ. The 12 Apostles reacted in differing ways; their movements and expressions are magnificently captured in Leonardo's work. The genius of the artist is seen especially in the use of light and strong perspective. Unfortunately, Leonardo did not work in fresco but in tempera on a two-layered surface of plaster that did not absorb paint. It was as early as 1568 when Vasari first pointed out problems with this painting technique.

The Last Supper, which Leonardo da Vinci painted in the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, is undisputedly one of the world’s masterpieces of painting. Its unique value, which over the centuries has had immense influence in the field of figurative art, is inseparable from the architectural complex in which it was created.

Criterion (i): The Last Supper is a timeless and unique artistic achievement of Outstanding Universal Value.

Criterion (ii): This work has highly influenced not only the development of one iconographic theme, but also the entire development of painting. Heydenreich wrote about the “superdimension” of its painted bodies in relation to space. It is one of the first classic paintings that focuses on a precise and very short moment of time, instead of a long one. After five centuries, the Last Supper is one of most reproduced and copied paintings, and its creation in 1495-1497 is considered to have heralded a new phase in the history of art.


The property contains all the elements that express its unique value, especially the Santa Maria delle Grazie complex, formed by the church, the convent and the Last Supper painted by Leonardo da Vinci. Despite the damages that occurred during the Second World War, the complex has preserved both its original architectural structure and the internal relation between its components, including the famous fresco. The presence of Dominican Fathers and the continuity of religious use have contributed to safeguard the property’s functional integrity. Da Vinci’s painting has considerable conservation problems due to the techniques used to paint it. The property suffers from environmental pressures and from potentially excessive visitation, although the latter is controlled by limiting access.


The site was badly damaged by bombing in 1943, but subsequently completely restored and renovated. The Last Supper, which miraculously survived the Allied bombing, suffers from other conservation problems which are due, above all, to Leonardo’s experimental technique, and which have long been evident. There are records of restoration works from the eighteenth century up to the present day, which bear witness to the continuing concern regarding the conservation of this artistic heritage. An important restoration of the Last Supper was completed at the end of the 1990. Careful treatment of the extremely delicate and considerably deteriorated paint layer restored the work’s hidden colours. Both the church and convent buildings (e.g. the cloisters) have been the object of continuous restoration works from the 1990s onwards, following a unified conservation strategy. Routine restoration work on the buildings is under way at present and has led to new discoveries that further increase the value of the property.

Protection and management requirements

The complex and its surrounding areas are currently under the protection of Italian law on cultural patrimony (Decreto Legislativo N. 42/2004, Codice dei Beni Culturali e del Paesaggio). Every intervention must obtain a specific authorisation by the local offices of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. More protection rules have been provided to deal with local traffic and vehicles parking on the nearby public square.

The steering group for the property is formed by the members of the Ministry’s local office. They are directly involved in all aspects of the property. The steering group has the task of defining the guidelines, procedures, programming and periodic monitoring applied to the protection system, which has been established in particular for The Last Supper, and of guaranteeing efficient interaction with the conservation and maintenance programmes for the entire building complex.

One of the most important and difficult aspects of the conservation of the fresco is related to the pollution caused by the great number of visitors. Continual monitoring is performed to guarantee optimum atmospheric conditions inside the refectory and thus avoid the danger posed by air pollution and elevated visitor numbers. A sophisticated monitoring device ensures that the air composition and the light and humidity levels remain within the established limits. A limited number of visitors are admitted at any one time.

The complex is the property of the Italian State, and in 1934, it was given in concession to the Dominican Fathers of Santa Maria delle Grazie, who contribute to the day-to-day administration of the complex with regard to its residential and religious functions. The room of The Last Supper is a museum cared for by the State administration.

The Management of the property is performed by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism through its local Offices, which are directly involved in conservation, monitoring and protection of the property. Although a management plan itself has not yet been drawn up, an effective instrument that regulates the use and external relations is in place.