The Last Supper

The Last Supper 2005

oil on canvas, 177 by 315 in.

"The Last Supper" is the biggest and most famous painting by Maciej Świeszewski. This monumental work of art measures 177 x 315 inches (450 x 800 cm). It had been painted in St Bartholomew church in Gdańsk between 1995 and 2005. The idea emerged in middle of 80s of 20th century, when Maciej Świeszewski was working on renovation of masterpieces by Delacroix and Courbet in Louvre. The first sketch of "The Last Supper" was drawn in 1985 right there in Paris. The artist started realisation of his vision in the middle of 90s. The immense dimensions of the canvas forced the artist to get it from manufacture in Brugge, because there was not a chance to get such in Poland. For the purpose of the creation act the Wybrzeże Theatre in Gdańsk acted as a stage for dedicated photo session. Invited special guests impersonated biblical apostles.

Maciej Świeszewski perpetuated in his work people of the world of culture, art and science. Behind the table we can see world famous writer Paweł Huelle, Krzysztof Niedałtowski - the priest and friend of artists,  Jacek Tylicki - an artist himself, brothers and professors Limon, professor Stefan Chwin. The painting was officially presented to public on November the 11th 2005 in St John's Church in Gdańsk, during Gdańsk Areopag meeting. Thousands of Gdańsk citizens came to see "The Last Supper" with their own eyes. Despite first plans the painting was not exhibited in the in St John's Church permanently. It had stayed there only for ten days. For years, due to many different reasons, it couldn't find a place for public exposition. Rarely had it been presented to wider audience in Poland or abroad. For several years it had been stored in Gdańsk Scientific-Technological Park. During 2009 summer rain storm the whole complex was flooded, and the painting miraculously survived from destruction floating on the surface of warehouse.

The subject of Maciej Świeszewski's Last Supper became an inspiration for Paweł Huelle's novel under the same title and another book "Always The Last Supper" by priest Krzysztof Niedałtowski. A documentary film was also made. This document was presented in Kazimierz Dolny Movie Festival "Dwa Brzegi".  It was directed by Sylwester Latkowski, the soundtrack for the film was composed by Leszek Możdżer. A vast album fully devoted to " The Last Supper" was also published.

In 2011 the painting was presented to thousands of visitors at Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels. In 2015 it was supposed to be exhibited in Polish Pavillion at Milan EXPO in specially prepared exhibition room. Just before the opening of the EXPO the transportation of the painting was blocked by one of the ministers of Polish Government, because, supposedly, it "offended religious feelings". On March 21st 2016 this great painting was hanged in Arrival Hall in Lech Wałęsa Gdańsk Aiport, where it can be seen  by public.