Art: Hardy Masterpiece

Soon after the world's best-known painting was finished (1498), rumors got around that it had been painted not in tempera (egg-white base) but in oils. As the years passed, the huge fresco on the refectory wall of Milan's convent church, Santa Maria delle Grazie, mildewed, flaked and scaled. The experts, who kept trying to patch up the painting with secret preparations of glues and varnishes, did it almost as much damage as time and weather.

Last week the Allied Commission announced that Leonardo da Vinci's faded, dusty masterpiece, The Last Supper, had survived time, bungling repairs and bombs. The convent's roof had...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!