Life-size wooden sculpture of the Last Supper – is it just another religious statue?

Exactly what and where is?

The Zappia sculpture is a 17-foot-long wooden life-size recreation of the Last Supper, based on Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco in Milan, Italy. The 13 figures of him (Christ and his 12 disciples) were each carved from a 500-pound block of laminated basswood. Completed, each figure weighs at least 200 pounds. The dinner table, its tablecloth and cutlery are also made of lime wood.

This sculpture is located in a special viewing room at Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO, where visitors can view it during business hours Monday through Friday and on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Its viewing room has glass-enclosed humidity, temperature and lighting controls along with bench seating and a recorded message. A tour guide is available for groups of about 12 or more.

who sculpted it?

According to literature published by the churches, Domenic Zappia came to the United States from Italy in the early 20th century when he was four years old. At 17, his stepfather enrolled him in the Cleveland School of Art. He graduated from there with honors.

After much success elsewhere in the US, he came to Kansas City in 1926 to make ornate artwork in a large theater and other venues there. In 1958, he was commissioned to make this large sculpture of the Last Supper for a proposed cemetery chapel in Charleston, WV. He completed it in 1962. However, the cemetery chapel was never finished. The sculpture was then loaned for several years.

History (I travel a lot).

After being seen by 70,000 people locally in 1962, the sculpture was put into storage for shipment to the World’s Fair in New York City in 1964, where it remained for a year. After that, it went to Kennedy International Airport until 1972. During that interim, two Kansas City civic leaders financed their previous church to purchase the sculpture from its WV owner in 1971. At the time, however, they did not have a suitable location. to save that. So, it was displayed at select fundraisers and in museums, chapels, a large church, and a university before making its way to its current home in 2000.

artistic significance.

Zappia studied the Christian Bible regularly. He felt that he knew his disciples well. Therefore, he had his own ideas on how to make the characteristics of it. His work is not a mere copy of da Vinci’s fresco. However, the figures of him are placed on the table in the same way. Seen from the left, they are Bartholomew, James the Less, Andrew, Judas, Peter, John, Jesus, Thomas, James the Elder, Philip, Thaddeus, Matthew, and Simon.

Zappia was happy the entire time while doing this job. He was inspired many times during the four years he worked on it. Also, his longstanding ulcer ailment did not bother him during this period. In addition, he finished the sculpture without chipping errors or self-harm, and without having to remake any of the figures with a new block of basswood.

Also, the linden tree itself gives a visual impact to its viewers. Basswood is a fine-grained, fibrous, golden hardwood from lime trees. Does not chip easily. Thus, its brilliant appearance seen under dim lighting combined with the artist’s detailed, smooth, and artful sculpting of the figure’s hands, clothing, face, and human features leave viewers in a state of awe.

conclusion. To answer the initial question, hardly. Because only a few life-size sculptures of the Last Supper exist, this one stands out for its realistic imagery. Also, like other artists who have divine intuition, Zappia was truly inspired for this work. For more information on woodcarving, check out these websites.

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