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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Santa Maria Delle Grazie (“Holy Mary of Grace”) is a church and Dominican convent in Milan, northern Italy. The church contains the mural of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the refectory of the convent.

The Duke of Milan, Francesco I Sforza, ordered the construction of a Dominican convent and a church which took decades and was completed by 1469. The church served as the Sforza family burial site and rebuilt the cloister and the apse, were both completed after 1490.

Highlights of the Santa Maria Delle Grazie

Tour of the Santa Maria Delle Grazie

  • “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci
    • “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci depicts the scene of the Last Supper of Jesus with his apostles, as told in the Gospel of John. Da Vinci focused on representing the anxiety and confusion, as he imagined, would have occurred among the Twelve Disciples at the specific point, when Jesus announced that one of them would betray him.

      This masterpiece covers one end wall of the dining hall at the monastery of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan. The room was used for communal meals of the Convent and was commissioned as part of a plan of renovations to the church and its convent buildings by Leonardo’s patron Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan.

  • “Crucifixion” by Giovanni Donato da Montorfano
    • “Crucifixion” by Giovanni Donato da Montorfano depicts the Crucifixion of Jesus. At the foot of the cross is Mary Magdalene, who is hugging the cross, Saint Dominic, founder of the Dominicans is on the left of Mary and Saint Thomas Aquinas on the right, both kneeling with their hands together in prayer. Also depicted are other saints and leaders from the Dominican order with Jerusalem in the background.

      Giovanni Donato da Montorfano was an Italian painter of the Renaissance who was born, lived, and worked in Milan. This fresco painting in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan is on the wall facing Da Vinci’s masterpiece of The Last Supper. The room was used for communal meals of the Convent, and both paintings were commissioned as part of a plan of renovations to the church and its convent buildings by Leonardo’s patron Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan.

Santa Maria delle Grazie

  • Name:                  Santa Maria delle Grazie
  • English:                Holy Mary of Grace
  • City:                      Milan, Italy
  • Built:                    1469
  • Location:              Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milano, Italy

Explore Italy’s Museums

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Italian Proverbs and Quotes

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“Short prayers reach heaven.”
– Italian Proverb

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Photo Credit: JOM

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