Charles - there are definitely a lot of pages now - to think it all grew from just one page about the hand and knife! People are very curious about the book and keep writing in with more questions
JFred - I suppose part of what we have to keep in mind here is that the "basis" for the row of people sitting and eating is off in the first place. That is, look at that painting and then rewind in time to a minute before Jesus speaks. They're all sitting and eating. How could they possibly even fit, the way they are laid out there? If Peter was NOT leaning over to talk to Mary, there's literally no place for him to have a plate in front of him there at the table
Never mind on the other side of the table, Thomas (the guy with his finger sticking up into the air) has no place to sit at all either.
So we do have to realize that this moment in history that Leonardo is showing is "staged". He put everyone on one side of the table, he had them in chairs instead of lounging on divans which would have been historically accurate. He did those things so he *could* put his people into very specific locations in relationship to each other, to help tell the story.
I agree that it seems Peter is friendly with Mary. Some people think he is threatening, but I don't get that sense at all. I get the sense that he wants to tell her something important and is trusting her with this news vs shouting it out to the table. She is listening calmly and trustingly.