Plymouth Congregational Church

God for All

The Last Supper – Supersized?

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Did you know that the portion sizes depicted in “The Last Supper” painting have grown larger over time?

“Researchers (and brothers) Brian and Craig Wansink have examined 52 of the most famous images of the Last Supper — where Jesus and his disciples observed a Passover seder, the last before the Crucifixion — and found a sizable increase in portions” over the years.

Their research shows that “over the last 1,000 years, the main course size of the Last Supper increased by 69%, plate size by 66%, and bread loaves by 23%. The researchers used the disciples’ heads as a point of reference, comparing them to their dinners.” 

And why do they think the portion sizes have increased?  “The researchers suggest they may reflect the better-fed lifestyles of the artists and their contemporaries, as time went by.”

I’ve included two different paintings depicting The Last Supper.  One is Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting (1498); the other is by Jacopo Bassano (1542), which I found on this site: The Last Supper.  The later painting does seem to show a bit more food.  (Until I read this article and visited this site, I never knew there were so many “Last Supper” paintings … did you?) 

The researchers findings have been published in the April issue of The International Journal of Obesity, and seem to indicate that our current habit of “super-sizing” meals may not be a new trend at all.  (To read the entire article, click here:  “And Thou Shalt Super-size


One thought on “The Last Supper – Supersized?

  1. The Last Supper … or as Kyle E. said, when answering a question in our “Are You Smarter than a Sunday Schooler event … “The Final Dinner.”

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