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Q: DA VINCI'S LAST SUPPER ( Answered,   25 Comments )
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: leonardo1-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 27 Jun 2003 19:46 PDT
Expires: 27 Jul 2003 19:46 PDT
Question ID: 222662
Answered By: seizer-ga on 27 Jun 2003 20:11 PDT
Hello Leonardo1!

Yes, there is indeed a character in the Last Supper who seems
distinctly feminine. She is seated to Jesus' right, and is often said
to be Mary Magdalene, who some people (and perhaps Da Vinci) thought
to be Jesus' wife. Comments have been made on the shape of the two
(forming an M, to signify her initial letters), and also on their
matching (but reversed) colours of clothing.

The most concise explanation of this appears in the last paragraph on
the following page:

You may also be interested in the following pages discussing this
issue, which also contain fairly good quality reproductions of the
Last Supper:

Finally, do note that (as shown in the link below) the image has been
amended and repaired over the years, including very recently, as part
of an ongoing restoration process, so not all the artwork remaining on
the wall is entirely Da Vinci's!

I hope this answers your question! If anything's unclear though,
please do use the "request clarification" feature before rating this

All the best,


Search terms:

vinci "last supper" "mary magdalene"
"last supper" woman
vinci "last supper" mystery woman
From: johnf-ga on 03 Jul 2003 21:39 PDT
Another item to mention is the supposed link between the mystery woman
and the Holy Grail.
From: tfleming88-ga on 03 Jul 2003 22:55 PDT
Excuse me, but that's no woman! That's a man, baby! The other men are
all 12 disciples, and the effeminate one is John, who was said to be
likened as the closest thing to Jesus's brother. That's why the colors
of the robes are similar (reversed, actually) and he seems to be a
mirror image of Jesus. I don't know of any woman being part of the 12
From: johngeorge-ga on 08 Jul 2003 14:56 PDT
Actually it is a very interesting theory that Mary M. is in it.  It
tends to fit Da Vinci's "wink and nod" at the Church.  Try "The Da
Vinci Code" by Dan Brown, it is a jawdropper.
From: jakebeer-ga on 21 Jul 2003 18:42 PDT
I second the note to everyone to read Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code"

I believe all of is widely known that the bible is written by
man, thus will contain only the account of one that would want the
masses to believe.

It is Mary in the painting...there is no reason for DaVinci to NOT
paint his understanding of the truth in this one when he did so with
reckless abandon in every other work he made.
From: jfog-ga on 05 Aug 2003 22:49 PDT
I also have read "The Da Vinci Code" and highly recommend it to anyone
looking for a fun reading experience. BUT, I do wish to warn people
that the book is FICTIONAL and therefore is not to be taken literally.
Reading the comment by "jakebeer" where he states that he does in
fact, "believe all of it" is scary. That is like watching Casablanca
and believing every part of it to be fact, instead of accepting that
there were Nazi's and WWII did happen, and that most of the rest was
just a good story.
In much the same way, this book exaggerates some points and does not
acknowledge others in order to keep up the intensity. There are some
true points in it, but that does not mean that the entire book is
true!! Please, read the Bible with the same intensity that you read
this book, and then put your faith in it, not a clearly labeled
fictional story.
From: dalee-ga on 14 Aug 2003 21:21 PDT
while of course the Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction, it is a work
of fiction based around facts. i've been doing some fact checking
since i've begun reading this book and i'm amazed at some of the
things i've been finding. such as Mary Magdalene sitting to Jesus's
right in the last supper, when looking at the picture, you certainly
can see where it may be interpeted that way. but history is like art,
in the eyes of the beholder; in the end what you read and hear about
it is one's interpertation of the events. while some of the "facts" in
the story are true, there is no question that the documentation
exists, it was still written by people and human error, as well as
interest is a factor you must take into account. of course, those are
also things you must take into account when reading the bible.
From: jfog-ga on 19 Aug 2003 21:43 PDT
Well said dalee-ga. I also researched some of the points made in the
book, and was startled to see that it does appear as if a woman is in
the painting next to Jesus. I am glad that you found the time, as well
as I did, to research the points made in the book instead of accepting
every theory introduced in the book.
From: stellalion-ga on 21 Aug 2003 13:22 PDT
Indeed St. John is replaced by a feminine image.  It,however is not
Mary Magdalyn, as is suggested by Dan Brown in the da Vinci
code,fiction.  The true identity can be found in Sharron Connelly's,
The Charade of Mona Lisa, which is non-fiction supported by 17 years
of independent Vincian scholarship.  The secrets are documented in
Leonardo da Vinci's own words, drawings and paintings.  Not only is
the Charade of the Last Supper dispelled,so is the mystery of Mona
Lisa.  Connelly broke the code on da vinci's pictographs and has
unraveled the greastes find in the history of the humanities bo
solving the myaster of Mona Lisa.  Sorry, the lady is not Mary M.
From: jaxx-ga on 07 Sep 2003 16:26 PDT
It is a woman. It is Mary Magdalene. Da Vinci put her in there as a
mock to the church. I have studied this matter and I had come to that
conclusion before I read "The Da Vinci Code". She is Mary, and she is
the wife of Christ.
From: lauriejeanne-ga on 08 Jan 2004 10:10 PST
I am currently reading The DaVinci Code right now, and I have to say
that I agree that the figure in the painting "The Last Supper" may
very well be Mary Magdalene.  Is it not feasible that the only perfect
individual to dwell on this earth, the very Son of God, was, in fact,
married?  In my belief, we can only attain our eternal glory by
entering into that sacred right, the right of matrimony between
husband and wife.  In order to gain exaltation, the Savior, himself,
would have to enter into that covenant.  If he did not, what example
would he be to us?
From: blessed88008-ga on 22 Feb 2004 12:44 PST
Just because Da Vinci was a talented artist, one should not presume to
believe he is a Biblical scholar. To read a work of fiction and take
it as "Gospel" is moronic and dangerous. First, ask yourself what is
Brown's agenda in writing the Da Vinci code? TO SELL BOOKS! I found it
amusing to note that the author used the characters Langdon and his
editor as a means of self-disclosure. As with Langdon's book on the
same subject he mentions the agenda of selling books as well as his
theory that "every one loves a conspiracy". If you have read the
previous book, you will see that the author is fascinated by secret
sects, conspiracies and corruption within the Church. He is guilty of
the same thing he claims the Catholic church has done... take a few
truths and build a fictional story around them that the public will
buy. Also the last paragraph of Lisa Shea's web site states that there
would not have been a grail because Jesus was poor. There may not have
been a "chalice", but Jesus was not poor. His family had to have money
when he was born as they were on there way to pay taxes! At that time
in history, only the well off paid taxes. Also he was not born in a
stable because his family had no money, rather because all the
inns/rooms were booked. Ask yourself how many poor people need a
treasurer? If he was poor how could he have paid to support a ministry
staff of over 80 people? And how many bums on the street wear such
fine clothes that people would gamble for them? Let the elevator go
all the way to the top. In researching the truth, always check your
source. For an perfect source and even better action-adventure
story... try the BIBLE!
From: petezny-ga on 24 Feb 2004 06:46 PST
Good discussion here except nobody seems to acknowledge the fact that
Da Vinci lived 1500+ years after Christ. His painting was not a
portrait taken at the Last Supper. He painted what he wanted to paint,
what he thought the scene might have looked like and with his own
reasons for doing so. Remember the dark ages that occurred before Da
Vinci's time? There was very little historical reference, other than
the bible, in Europe for anyone including Da Vinci at the time to go
by. Even the bible has no "paper trail" back to the original writings.
The discussion on this topic is much like a high school literature
class where the teacher is espousing all sort of meaning into
Shakespeare. If we could wake Shakespeare from the dead and ask him
what he meant in a certain passage he might just quote Quentin
Tarintino and say ?I though that was a badass thing to say at the
To try to use a 21st century fictional book to interpret a 16th
century painting and in doing so dispute a highly copied and edited
1st century religious writing is a bit silly. So please take Dan
Browns "da Vinci Code" as a good piece of historical fiction. Take Da
Vinci's "Last Supper" as a good piece of art. And take the bible as a
part of your faith.
From: nyjennie-ga on 12 Apr 2004 22:26 PDT
An interesting angle from which to contemplate Jesus and Mary's
relationship is to remember that Jesus was a Jew.  He was in effect a
rabbi to those he ministered to.  In all my life, I have never met a
rabbi who wasn't married.  In my Hebrew education, I was taught that
the Jews were told to "go forth and multiply".  It makes very logical
sense that Jesus would have taken a wife.  Whether or not her
appearance in the Last Supper painting was artistic lisencsure or not
remains to be discovered, as was pointed out, DaVinci created his
rendition, and not an actual portrait.
From: atlast-ga on 14 Apr 2004 23:14 PDT
I have just finished reading Dan Browns Da vinci's code and was
totally blown away by it.  It answered many of my questions.  Bought
up as a good catholic i had many questions but not many answers.  How
could Jesus who was meant to be fair be so against women?  i felt that
"my" Jesus could not have been.  Man wrote the Bible for man, man
being the key word.  They wanted to supress women and others and they
did it for many centries.  Maybe if the catholic church had not been
so hard on women and acknowledged that Jesus was married and let
priest marry we would not have the crimes against children through the
church that we have today.  My Jesus was a good, kind "man" and the
politics and church of the time made him into something they wanted
not what was.
From: drlecter-ga on 03 May 2004 07:20 PDT
While its certainly interesting to see the completely diverse
reactions from people who clearly have their own beliefs and
consequently will accept or reject the Magdalene theory based on
those, I myself believe that the bible is taken too literally for a
text written, as stated, in the 1st century that has been translated,
edited, changed, altered an innumerable number of times by whatever
the current dominating power of the day was.
I believe that blind adherence to religious beliefs is the cause of so
many problems in today?s world that it hardly seems worth it. It
closes peoples minds and can, in some cases, promote fundamentalism
(Jihads, Crusades etc), the belief that their way is the only true way
and those not on this path are doomed to burn in hell, or some such
The character in the last supper to me does indeed look like a woman,
the wife of Jesus? I don?t know? Did DaVinci? maybe or maybe a
practical joke, I'm sure that if he thought people would still be
debating this 500 years later it would certainly have brought a smile
to his face.
He may have also attempted to convey the real truth as he knew it, who knows?
From: davincisecrets-ga on 07 May 2004 13:33 PDT
Please take a look at my proof of Leonardo's hidden message behind his
work at   run the slideshow to view the "sacred
geometry" he used to create this clever hoax.
From: sk_229-ga on 24 Jun 2004 02:47 PDT
I've read Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code" and I agree: It's a
jawdropper. Makes you look at art and religion with a different eye. I
do tend to believe that the figure is Mary Magdalene. But in this case
we are missing a deciple! We have Jesus, Mary Magdalene and another 11
deciples. Who's missing? Any ideas?
From: kateweiner-ga on 03 Jul 2004 03:34 PDT
I don't believe that it has ever been said that the twelve disciples
are men so Mary Magdalene could very well be "the disciple Jesus
loved," making it eleven men and one woman.
From: mobius9-ga on 05 Aug 2004 01:05 PDT
personally, I would like to believe that Da Vinci was naughty enough
to rub a little salt into a religous wound. I have been reading the Da
Vinci Code also, and it is a work of fiction that does have some
historical merit. It is very unfortunate that the church, threatened
by the roles women played in early christianity, cast women in such a
negative aspect. Women were the teachers of religon in early christian
families (As they are in jewish families) Male members of the church
threatened by the roles women might assume within the christian church
launched a smear campaign against women. This included the invention
of "original sin" and the slander against Mary Magdalene. Church
members took two different stories of two different prostitutes and
with a little creative license turned Mary into a whore redeemed. (
remember the stories? The redeemed emaciated prostitute with a
gloroius head of hair and the prostitute who washed jesus' feet,
neither of these were Mary. Mary was actually a well respected and
wealthy woman in her day and it is said that she too wrote a gospel
that was either detroyed or just didn't make it into the final cut of
the bible. Mary was a disciple of Jesus also. It has also been
speculated that Mary provided funding for J.C. and the boys as their
patroness.The feminine looking form sitting next to Jesus is too girly
to just dismiss. Da Vinci was a perfectionists who spent a great deal
of time on that painting. It is not likely that when a dude looks like
a lady in a Da Vinci, that is not a casual type of "mistake". (The
comment blessed88008 made about Brown's agenda is selling books, that
is the agenda for the bible too. By the way, the roman census that was
supposed to have happened to make Joseph and Mary end up in a stable,
never happened. Many theologens and historians have researched this
through records of the time, and it didn't happen.)(there are at least
23 books that did not make it into the version of the bible the
majority of christians read today. "the Lost books of the bible and
the Forgotten books of Eden" can be found in the religon section of
your local bookstore. No gospel of Mary included though.)
From: ww1965-ga on 20 Aug 2004 11:12 PDT
I, too, am going through the DaVinci Code and it is a very interesting
work of fiction.  There are enought facts and truths to make it SEEM
to be true overall, but it is truly a work of fiction.

In regards to a few items in the above comments:

1. Mary was NOT a disciple. The twelve are listed in Matthew chapter
10 and Mark chapter 3. There is no account of a woman being in the

2. DaVinci was not present at the Last Supper and his painting is HIS
interpretation of the event.

3. The people in the picture look remarkably European - not
Middle-Eastern in the least.  As the Bible clearly points out that
Jesus was not a remarkable man in appearance (see Isaiah 53:2). If he
and his disciples truly looked like what is depicted in the painting,
wouldn't they have stood out in a land full of dark-haired,
dark-skinned people?

4. Mary and Joseph were poor. Look at Luke 2:24. They offered 2
turtledoves in the temple. According to Leviticus 12:6-8, the
sacrifice is a lamb, or, if a lamb could not be afforded, 2
From: boofah-ga on 11 Sep 2004 19:45 PDT
I think that the man sitting to the right of Jesus, is in fact a women
because Da Vinci wasn't a true christian. Some believe that he is an

It doesn't matter if there was 12 disciples at the last supper, what
matters is that Da Vinci could have put Mary Magdalene in the painting
if he wanted to. Its his painting. No bible facts need to be used
here, no "Da Vinci Code" book complaining to explain what is in the
picture. This is Da Vinci's picture, its not the true picture, its not
a photo or anything. Its what he believe what the last supper would be

And I personally think that Mary Magdalene would have been there and
same with Mary, mother of Jesus.

And also remember that, that part of the bible was not written down
untill.. like 70 years after the passing of Jesus. Stories would have
been twisted because of times. Women did not have a big rule, they
were just there to cook, clean, have babies, and watch the house while
the men go out to the churches and markets to sell and get food. And
the people who wrote that part of the bible wrote so that the people
of the era would believe in Christianity, so it would have some
written proof that it all happened. So.. the bible might not all be
facts. None of it was written down the instant it happened it was
passed down a few generations before it started to become documented
so the story would have been changed by the person who was telling the
From: missdavinci-ga on 21 Oct 2004 19:52 PDT
Well, congratulations, you all have just confused the heck out of
yourselves, Davinci, did in fact worship the femine, and the painting
does include 6 pentacles, all ove rthe painting, buy yourself a life
size copy, blow it up... and look.... that picture is a dedication to
women, not about jesus. thats all, and no, all 12 diciples arent
ther,e it is a woman.
From: potus-ga on 04 Nov 2004 23:12 PST
I just finished read da vinci code. I though it is a great book from
Dabn Brown. before i read it,i believe that Jesus is just a human. He
had a beautiful mind, inspired many people in the world for haundreds
years. But he isn't a God.Bible was wrote by men, in process of
writting ,bible was influented by politics,is the bible
that we know is fully true? I don't think so . did jesus marry and had
a child? ... who knows..
From: mwdavid-ga on 15 Nov 2004 23:37 PST
As far as the bible is concerned how can we even take that as gospel.
Ironic as that statement sounds. The bible is a massive document that
has been translated, edited and rewritten so many times.

As a man who studied marketing, I can give you many interesting and
funny case examples when companies have moved abroad and needed to
translate their cactch phrase. When the phrase was translated, the
meaning was all lost. And thats just a short sentance. We're talking
about the bible here, a massive document.

You have the new testament and the old. When Constantine the Roman
Emperor (a pagan) was in power he combined Christianity with Paganism.
Is it a coincidence that many of the holidays christians celebrate are
the same ones that pagans celebrated. Their meanings re-worked a
little. Why is the sabath on sunday, not saturday. Sunday is the pagan
sabath, in which they worshiped the sun god. Many latin influenced
languages still call saturday, "Sabado" or something similar.

It is important to be independant in our thinking and not subscribe to
ideologies, religeous, political, or of any sort. Extract from the
bible what had meaning for you. Make up your own mind. Don't follow
the bible blindly because when you were a kid some sunday school
teacher slapped you with a bible and said, "your going to hell if you
don't believe whats in this book."

It's interesting to debate history, but lets humble ourselves and
realize that as much as we know, we don't know the whole story and
probably never will.
From: johnbluenose-ga on 27 Dec 2004 15:33 PST
What everyone has to remember about everything from The Bible, The Da
Vinci Code, da Vinci's Last Supper etc is:
They are all opinions of humans. none of the books, idea's,
suggestions are those of God/The Source/Goddess or any devine being.
Who is to say that is isn't Mary Magdalene or John. Who's to say that
da Vinci even meant anything like what is suggested in the Da Vinci
Code. History doesn't even mention an actual historical figure of
Jesus! (some believe that Jesus was "stolen" from Egyptian mythology -
the birth of Horus from Isis and Osiris and so making Horus the "Son
of God"!)
Everything is dependant on own personal view/faith and belief. One
thing is sure however,  none of us will ever know the truth until it's
our time.
That does not mean that the idea's being probed here are not valid and
it is very interesting to see that people are no longer happy to
blindly follow but are willing to question and search history for

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