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This painted terracotta sculpture is in one of the chapels of the Sacro Monte at San Vivaldo. The Sacro Monte (literally sacred mountain) is a pilgrimage site built by the Franciscans. Small chapels each contain painted terracotta sculptures with events from the Passion of Christ. These chapels are arranged on the hilly terrain so that they evoke the actual geography in the Holy Land of the places in which the events occurred. In a time in which pilgrimage to the Holy Land was for the most part impossible (because the territory was under Muslim control), the Sacro Monte offered a substitute or a simulacrum that was thought to be efficacious. In 1516, at the request of the Franciscans of San Vivaldo, Pope Leo X promulgated a brief granting indulgences (time off purgatory) to all who visited the site, which made it a major pilgrimage destination. At this and other Sacri Monti (of which there are several in Lombardy and Piedmont), devotees were to come in penitence, perhaps at night with a lantern, and move from chapel to chapel saying prayers. This relief of the Last Supper is in a chapel along with a relief of the Washing of the Feet, in the area of the Sacro Monte that represents Mt. Zion. This chapel therefore mimics the configuration of a church of Our Lady on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, supposedly on the site where the Last Supper occurred, known today as the Abbey of the Dormition. Unlike in Leonardo da Vinci's famously dramatic representation of the scene, the emphasis here is not on Jesus' announcement that one of the apostles will betray him, but rather on the institution of the Eucharist (shown here as a wafer, rather than a loaf of bread, as described in the Bible, to make the connection clear). Jesus holds up the wafer in an almost sacramental gesture, while the apostles crowded around the table react with gestures of awe and adoration. The tableware is closely modelled on contemporary Renaissance crockery. Scholars have suggested that Giovanni della Robbia oversaw the sculptures at the Sacro Monte, and that many of the works there are by Agnolo di Polo or Benedetto Buglioni, but this work does not fit neatly into the oeuvres of any of those artists and so remains anonymous. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.