ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO
(b. 1423, Castagno, d. 1457, Firenze)
Last Supper and Stories of Christ's Passion1447
Fresco, 453 x 975 cm (each fresco)
The influence of Domenico Veneziano's painting is strong in the decoration of the refectory of Sant'Apollonia which Andrea painted between June and October 1447. He solved the problem posed by the height of the refectory walls in Sant'Apollonia by using the old method of arranging the scenes in two rows, one above the other, but he gave them a visual unity: the Stories of Christ's Passion frescoed on the upper level are in fact conceived as taking place in a space behind the room where the Last Supper on the lower level is happening. The three scenes from the Passion (the Resurrection, Crucifixion and Entombment) are connected to each other by a group of flying angels all converging towards the figure of Christ in the centre, and by a common landscape background, which has been correctly judged "the most powerful interpretation, of the Tuscan landscape in the entire history of painting" (Berti).
The scene that has been most highly praised, and which is probably the best preserved, is the Resurrection, originally the first to the left.