As for effeminate-looking young boys, there is no need to try to convince me, personally, because I know that this is so. On the other hand, young women also looked 'effeminate'
Aren’t they suppose to ???
I fully accept that Leonardo might well have taken a moment from the biblical 'Last Supper', with Jesus and his twelve male disciples, and painted it exactly as per the Bible story. Like others, he may well have decided that the 'beloved disciple' referred to John, and then made him look like an effeminate young boy
According to Leonardo’s notes
by his own hand, that is exactly what he did minus the "effeminate" part. Painting under the influence of The Florentine School very likely resulted in Leonardo himself not considering his portrayals of a male youth as "effeminate" but simply as "youthful" in the style of his era.
They wonder why the boy who is supposed to be sitting in the lap of Jesus is leaning away from him
Perhaps it is because they are either unfamiliar with or have chosen to ignore (which is the more likely)
the fourth gospel account (Jn 13:23-25
) that very clearly describes the figure to Jesus’ right – not as leaning away from Jesus but inclining towards Peter
to hear the question Peter is asking him to relay to Jesus.
According to the NT account, at Jn 13:2
, the sequential stages of movement by the disciple are as follows:
- The disciple was leaning on Jesus’ chest (Jn 13:23)
- Then the disciple leaned towards Peter when Peter “beckoned/motioned” (Gr: neuei) to him that he wanted the disciple to relay a message to Jesus (Jn 13:24)
- Then the disciple leaned back towards Jesus and asked him the question Peter had directed him to ask (Jn 13:25)
Now – what do you suppose we would be hearing
- Leonardo had chosen instead to paint the moment when after hearing Peter’s question the disciple leaned back towards Jesus and asked him Peter’s question?
We would be hearing a chorus from da Vinci Code advocates clamoring that, “See there!
Mary is leaning on Jesus’ beast!” – completely ignoring the leaning first one way and then another and for what purpose.
When someone is determined to make something of nothing, they will at the sacrifice of almost any truth or fact and in this case, both from Leonardo's notes as well as the NT account, the "space" was created incidental to the disciple inclining towards Peter to hear what he had to say.
Put another way – “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with facts” on the part of da Vinci Code enthusiasts.
And by the way, if Leonardo had not opted to portray the "before" (the disciple leaning towards Peter) and instead painted the "after" (the disciple leaning back towards Jesus) there would have been no "V" shape, no "chalice", no pagan symbol of womanhood, no central theme for Mr. Brown to base his novel upon.
That alone demonstrates that the "V" space is totally incidental to the movement of the disciple leaning towards Peter, not an intent on the part of Leonardo to paint a symbolic "womb".
What else was Leonardo going to put in the "gap" between the disciple leaning towards Peter and therefdore away from Jesus? An octagon? A rectangle? A window?
In choosing the portray the NT passage describing the figure leaning towards Peter, Leonardo had no choice but to paint the “space” created by that action exactly the way he did. No hidden meanings, no symbolism for future understanding, no covert expressions of an heretical whisper, just a space, just a space accommodating the action of the disciple to Jesus' right leaning towards another disciple to hear him.
Every evidence considered regarding the NT account Leonardo obviously modeled his two figures after leaves no reasonable
doubt that attributing some mystical meaning to the “space” created by the one disciple leaning towards Peter is exactly the process of “creating something out of nothing to suit an agenda unknown to Leonardo himself”.
In weeks of meetings - more when time permits.