The Last Supper by Plautilla Nelli

by Matthew Innis |


Plautilla Nelli’s Last Supper is probably one of the most significant paintings in the history of art. This extraordinary painting is in fact the first and perhaps the unique representation of a Last Supper made by a woman artist who lived in the Renaissance period. Plautilla was a self-taught painter and a Dominican nun who practiced over the artworks she had seen in person. She had not been trained in any artist’s workshop and she had never taken anatomy lessons (it was not allowed for women of the time).



The dimensions of thi spainting are also impressive. Consider that the entire painting coming from the refectory of the convent of Santa Caterina di Cafaggio (now dismantled), is 7 meters long and 2 meters high with life-size painted characters.


Years of meticulous restoration have been sustained thanks to the substantial contribution of various patrons from all over the world but above all thanks to the commitment of AWA Foundation in recovering and bringing this work to new light. The collaboration with The Flod and The Florentine was also fundamental for the success of the #thefirstlast fundraising campaign



A special thanks to the Dominican friars of the Convent of Santa Maria Novella who “donated” this painting to the homonymous museum.



From today, the Last Supper of Sister Plautilla Nelli can finally be admired by everyone!

Video and photo credits: Advancing Women Artists Foundation

Where: Opera per Santa Maria Novella, Florence (IT)

When: October 19, 2019 –

Opera per Santa Maria Novella

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