The Last Supper
- Place of origin:
late 16th century (made)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Credit Line:
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
Plaquettes are small plaques or reliefs made of bronze, brass, lead or precious metals. They originated in the 1440ies with the desire to reproduce coins and hardstone engravings from ancient Greece and Rome. Some were made as collector's pieces, to be viewed and displayed in private, and others for practical purposes. They also inspired designs in other media, from architecture to bookbindings.
Whilst religious plaquettes had both public and private functions, and mounted religious plaquettes, known as paxes, were held up during mass for the kiss of peace, those with a secular subject matter were usually for private, personal use. They were used as pendants, desk ornaments, and applied to functional objects such as pounce-pots. They were also valued as fine miniature works of art. Plaquettes had a role in disseminating classical imagery and designs throughout Europe, in the same manner as the contemporary print. The subject matter was often a miniature composition, only rarely a single isolated figure. The artist Moderno is widely regarded as the most accomplished designer in this medium.
In this plaquette: it is unusual to see the figure of Judas, holding the thirty pieces of silver in a bag.
Bronze plaquette depicting the Last Supper. Christ seated behind a long table holding the Bread, with the twelve Apostles seated round him, two of them at each side on stools in front of the table. Judas to the right with a purse and no halo; in the foreground two wine jars.
Place of Origin
late 16th century (made)
Materials and Techniques
Height: 65.5 mm, Width: 107.5 mm
Object history note
From the Salting bequest.
Historical significance: It is unusual to see the figure of Judas, holding the thirty pieces of silver in a bag.
Plaquette, bronze, depicting the Last Supper, unknown artist, Flanders, late 16th century
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 72
Weber, I. Deutsche, Niederländische und Französische Renaissance Plaketten. Munich, 1975, p. 309, no 712
Sculpture; Plaques & Plaquettes; Christianity