Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” depicting Jesus of Nazareth having his last meal with his 12 apostles before his dreadful execution, is significant for its depiction of 3-D space on a flat surface (via Britannica). In the centuries since its inception, it has revealed new layers and mysteries to many who have gazed upon it.
Scholars of Leonardo da Vinci’s art have debated whether Leonardo incorporated numerous components of mathematics and numerology into this painting. Many academics, for example, have referred to Da Vinci’s clever inclusion of the Golden Ratio, the divine proportion found in art, architecture, and nature, within “The Last Supper.”
However, musicologist Giovanni Maria Pala suggested in 2007 that the Renaissance genius may have left behind a requiem-like composition. All you had to do was follow the breadcrumbs to discover it (via CBC News).
After placing the five parallel lines of a musical staff directly across the painting, Pala realized that the positioning of the loaves of bread on the table and the hands of Jesus and the Apostles in the painting may each represent a musical note (per Live Science).
The notes initially perplexed Pala. They appeared to be in sync with the music staff’s ledger lines, but the song was unpleasant and made no melodic sense. He eventually discovered the melody and order he was searching for by playing the staff from right to left. This backward series of notes produce a 40-second hymn-like melody that suits the style of Church music in Da Vinci’s time (via Live Science).