The Last Supper, Ugolino da Siena (Ugolino di Nerio) (Italian, Siena, active by 1317–died ?1339/49), Tempera and gold on wood

The Last Supper

Ugolino da Siena (Ugolino di Nerio) (Italian, Siena, active by 1317–died ?1339/49)
ca. 1325–30
Tempera and gold on wood
Overall, with engaged (modern) frame, 15 x 22 1/4 in. (38.1 x 56.5 cm); painted surface 13 1/2 x 20 3/4 in. (34.3 x 52.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 952
Ugolino da Siena was the most original and accomplished follower of Duccio di Buoninsegna, the greatest Sienese painter of the fourteenth century. Among Ugolino's most important commissions was the multi-panel altarpiece for the high altar of Santa Croce, the Franciscan church in Florence. This painting of the Last Supper formed part of the predella (the lowermost horizontal component) of the now dismembered altarpiece. A reconstruction of the altarpiece's original appearance is possible through an 18th-century drawing, which indicates that the "Last Supper" panel was the left-most of seven predella panels. The altarpiece's central panel, which depicted the Madonna and Child, is now lost. Ugolino's large workshop included his father and two of his brothers, who were also painters. Ugolino's point of departure was Duccio's rendition of the same scene in the "Maestà" altarpiece for Siena cathedral, but he has reorganized the composition along lines similar to the work of Giotto, who also worked in Santa Croce. That a pupil of Duccio was hired to provide an altarpiece for a major Florentine church attests to the fame of the Sienese master's work. In this scene, Christ, at the far left, informs his disciples that one of them will betray him, a prophecy fulfilled by Judas, who appears without a halo at Christ’s right. Ugolino’s exploration of spatial perspective is evident in details such as the coffered ceiling and the table settings.

This panel and six others—Arrest of Christ (National Gallery, London), Flagellation (Gemäldegalerie, SMPK, Berlin), Way to Calvary and Deposition (both National Gallery, London), Entombment (Gemäldegalerie, SMPK, Berlin), and Resurrection (National Gallery, London)—comprised the predella of the altarpiece on the high altar of the church of Santa Croce, Florence. Saints John the Baptist, Paul, and Peter (all Gemäldegalerie, SMPK, Berlin) are from the main register; Saints James the Greater and Philip, Saints Matthew and James the Lesser, and Saints Matthias and Clare (all Gemäldegalerie, SMPK, Berlin), Saints Simon and Thaddeus and Saints Bartholomew and Andrew (both National Gallery, London) are from the intermediate upper register.
Cappella Maggiore, Santa Croce, Florence (until 1566); upper dormitory, friary of Sante Croce, Florence; William Young Ottley, London; Warner Ottley, London; Warner Ottley sale, Foster and Son, London, 30 June 1847 (bought in); Warner Ottley sale, Foster and Son, London, 24 June 1850, lot 55; Rev. John Fuller Russell, Eagle House, near Enfield (see G. F. Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, 1854, vol. 2, p. 462); Russell sale, Christie's, London, 18 April, 1885, lot 116; Canon L. Myers, Swanmore Park; F. Sabin, London; acquired by Robert Lehman in 1934.
N. Catalano. Fiume del Terrestre Paradiso, diviso in Quattro capi, o discorsi. Florence, 1652, pp. 424-425.

Guglielmo Della Valle. Lettere sansei. Vol. 2, Venice, 1785, p. 202.

Gustav Friedrich Waagen. Kunstwerke und Künstler in England und Paris. Vol. 1, 1837, pp. 393-395.

Art Treasures Exhibition. Exh. cat.Manchester, 1857, no. 25.

Exhibitions from the Works of Old Masters. Exh. cat.London, 1878, no. 177.

J. S. Sartain. The Reminiscences of a Very Old Man. Cambridge , 1899, p. 98.

Edward Hutton. The Sienese School in the National Gallery. London, 1925, pp. 16-21.

Giorgio Vasari. Le vite del Vasari nell'edizione del 1550. Vol. 1, Milan, 1927, p. 155.

Curt H. Weigelt. Sienese Painting of the Trecento. Florence, 1930, p. 18.

R. R. Tatlock. "Ugolino da Siena's Predella Completed." Apollo 32 (1935).

Bernard Berenson. Pitture italiane del Rinascimento: catalogo dei principali artisti e delle loro opere con un indice dei luoghi. Valori plastici, Milan, 1936, p. 501.

Pèleo Bacci. Dipinti inediti e sconosciuti di Pietro Lorenzetti, Bernardo Daddi, etc., in Siena e nel contado. Siena, 1939, p. 137.

Paintings and Bronzes from the Collection of Mr. Robert Lehman. Exh. cat., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Colorado Springs, 1951, Pl. 3 .

Theodore Allen Heinrich. "The Lehman Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 8 (1954), p. 218.

Gertrude Coor-Achenbach. "Contributions to the Study of Ugolino di Nerio's Art." Art Bulletin 37 (September 1955), pp. 153-167, fig. 6.

Charles Sterling, ed. Exposition de la collection Lehman de New York. Exh. cat., Musée de l'Orangerie. Paris, 1957, no. 56.

The Lehman Collection. Exh. cat.Cincinnati, 1959, no. 8.

Joseph Wechsberg. The Merchant Bankers. Boston, 1966, p. 333.

George Szabó. The Robert Lehman Collection: A Guide. New York, 1975, p. 23, pl. 3.

Henri Loyrette. "Une source pour la reconstruction du polyptyche d'Ugolino da Siena à Santa Croce." Paragone (1978), pp. 15-23.

James H. Stubblebine. Duccio di Buoninsegna and His School. Princeton, 1979, pp. 164-168.

Christa Gardner von Teuffel. "The Buttressed Altarpiece: A Forgotten Aspect of Tuscan Fourteenth-Century Altarpiece Design." Jarbuch der Berliner Museen 21 (1979), p. 48, n. 69.

Bruce Cole. Sienese Painting From its Origins to the Fifteenth Century. 1980, pp. 65-67, fig. 33.

Keith Christiansen. "Fourteenth-Century Italian Altarpieces." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 40 (Summer 1982), pp. 1, 45-46, fig. 19.

George Szabo. Masterpieces of Italian Drawing in the Robert Lehman Collection. New York, 1983, p. 7, fig. 2.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 1983, p. 316.

Dillian Gordon. "Three Newly Acquired Panels from the Altarpiece for Santa Croce by Ugolino di Nerio." National Gallery Technical Bulletin (1984), pp. 36-52.

Miklós Boskovits. Gemäldegalerie in Berlin: Katalog der Gamälde. Berlin, 1986.

John Pope-Hennessy assisted by Laurence B. Kanter in The Robert Lehman Collection. Vol. 1, Italian Paintings. New York, 1987, pp. 8-10, no. 4.

Virginia Jackson. Art Museums of the World: Norway-Zaire. Vol. 2, Westport, CT, 1987, p. 1274.

David Bomford et al. Art in the Making: Italian Painting Before 1400. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 1989, p. 107.

The Life of Christ: Images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, p. 64.

Robert B. Simon. "Review of The Robert Lehman Collection, I: Italian Paintings by John Pope Hennessy and Laurence B. Kanter." Renaissance Quarterly 42 (1989), p. 121.

Jill Dunkerton et al. Giotto to Durer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery. New Haven, 1991, p. 222, fig. 5a.

Paul Zelanski. The Art of Seeing. Upper Saddle River, 1991, Fig. 3.14.

Mark A. Wauck. The Alba House Gospels: So You May Believe. New York, 1992, Cover.

Erling S. Skaug. Punch Marks from Giotto to Fra Angelico: Attribution, Chronology, and Workshop Relationships in Tuscan Panel Painting. Oslo, 1994, p. 220.

Norman E. Muller. "Reflections on Ugolino da Nerio's Santa Croce Polyptych." Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 57 (1994), pp. 45-74.

Philippe de Montebello. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 1994, p. 348.

Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 43.

Sally Fisher. The Square Halo and Other Mysteries of Western Art: Images and the Stories that Inspired Them. New York, 1995, p. 74.

Lidia Maria Riba. Un regalo para el alma. Buenos Aires, 1997, p. 28.

Mojmír S. Frinta. "Part I: Catalogue Raisonné of All Punch Shapes." Punched Decoration on Late Medieval Panel and Miniature Painting. Prague, 1998, pp. 77, 320, 496.

Jonathan Nelson. Suor Plautilla Nelli (1523-1588): the first woman painter of Florence: proceedings of the symposium, Florence-Fiesole, May 27, 1998. Florence, 2000, p. 53, n. 45.

Gloria Vallese. Il Cenacolo e Leonardo a Milano. Exh. cat.Milan, 2001, p. 17.

Victor M. Schmidt. Painted Piety: Panel Paintings for Personal Devotion in Tuscany, 1250–1400. Florence, 2005, p. 281.

John T. Paoletti and Gary M. Radke. Art in Renaissance Italy. London, 2005, pp. 92-93, fig. 4.21.

Stefan Weppelmann. Geschichten auf Gold: Bilderzählungen in der frühen italienischen Malerei. Exh. cat.Berlin, 2005, no. 8A.

Christa Gardner von Teuffel. "Stories in Gold." The Burlington Magazine 148 (2006), pp. 217-220.

"Ugolino da Siena: The Last Supper (1975.1.7)." Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York, 2008.

Jean Sorabella. "The Crucifixion and Passion of Christ in Italian Painting." Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York, 2008.

Dillian Gordon. The Italian Paintings Before 1400. London, 2011, pp. 434, 442, 466, 469, 470, 475 n. 51.

Elizabeth A. Pergam. The Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857: Entrepreneurs, Connoisseurs, and the Public. Surrey, 2011, No. 25.