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Santa Maria delle Grazie

convent

Milan, Italy, Europe

1491

January 17

on Saturday

This night there began, and continued until the 18th, a certain fine rain, which froze whilst it fell, and made icicles upon the trees. There was such a quantity of it, that the weight bowed the trees down to the ground and broke the branches. Note, by the way, that this was on the hills. For about half a mile near the river it did no injury. It began at Fiesole, and extended to the Mugello; and at San Godenzo and Dicomano it did much harm. On my land at Dicomano it tore from the roots several chestnut-trees and oak-trees, and broke nearly all the branches of the olive-trees and every other kind of wood, so that at one of my farms the branches alone made twenty piles of wood; and some of the broken limbs of the chestnuts were more than two feet thick, such as was never seen before. Those who chanced to be in the woods, thought that the world was coming to an end, when they heard everything cracking, and the deafening noise overhead. There was such a heap of grass that it weighed several pounds; and the stubble of the corn in the fields looked like organ-pipes. The stacks appeared to be roofed with glass, and it was too dangerous for anyone to walk in the country. The farms were ruined for many years, the fruit-trees not bearing fruit, the olives remaining like suckers, and the oak-trees being all spoilt. It was incredible, but true.

The Arno rose very high, and ruined the mill of the Ponte a Rubiconte, next to Santa Maria delle Grazie, and a porter was drowned there. The mill was a spinning-mill. The river overflowed its banks in several places.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Mugello was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.
Sunrise in Fiesole was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.
Sunrise in Arno was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.

1495

3 years, 11 months, 20 days later

Leonardo da Vinci begins work on The Last Supper in the refectory of the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.

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1497

June 29

on Tuesday

2 years, 6 months later

From a sheet of instructions that Lodovico Sforza gave to his secretary:

Item, to urge Leonardo the Florentine to finish the work that he has begun at the refectory of the Grazie, so that he may start with the other wall in the same refectory; and have him sign a contract obliging him to finish the work within the stipulated time.

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The moon was a new moon that night.

1498

February 9

on Wednesday

7 months, 15 days later

Leonardo da Vinci completes The Last Supper.

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The moon was waning gibbous that night.

1517

18 years, 11 months later

Decay starts to become visible in The Last Supper.

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1556

39 years, 9 days later

Vasari notes The Last Supper has become a mass of blots.

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1652

96 years, 24 days later

The doorway in the refectory is enlarged through The Last Supper.

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1726

74 years, 18 days later

Michelangelo Bellotti attempts the first restoration of The Last Supper, filling in missing sections with oil paint and then varnishing the whole mural.

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1768

42 years, 10 days later

A curtain is hung over The Last Supper for the purpose of protection; it instead traps moisture on the surface, and whenever the curtain is pulled back, it scratches the flaking paint.

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1770

2 years, 1 day later

Giuseppe Mazza attempts another restoration of The Last Supper, stripping off Bellotti's work then largely repainting it; he redoes all but three faces when he is halted due to public outrage.

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1796

26 years, 6 days later

The French revolutionary anti-clerical troops use the refectory containing The Last Supper as an armory; they throw stones at the painting and climb ladders to scratch out the Apostles' eyes.

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1821

25 years, 6 days later

Stefano Barezzi, an expert in removing whole frescoes from their walls intact, is called in to remove The Last Supper to a safer location; he badly damages the centre section before realizing that Leonardo's work is not a fresco. He then attempts to reattach damaged sections with glue.

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1943

122 years, 29 days later

Bombs from Allied Forces destroy most of the refectory containing The Last Supper.

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