Detail of the James Major

head of the James Majorreconstruction of the James Major

James Major - Leonardo da vinci
Reconstruction of the James Major



The various restorations and ancient repaints had reduced the face to a caricature, and the hair and beard had become dark, the modeling of the facial features alterd.
The condition of the clothing was hightly compromised. Unfortunately, the intonaco ground was exposed in central parts of the clothing.

James is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus, so he is a principal apostle in the Last Supper.
Leonardo painted the James major near the Christ, in credulous and intensely disturbed.


sketch of the James MajorSketch for the James Major

Windsor Castle, Royal Collection(no. 12552)

Leonardo made a number of sketches and drawings before applying any paint.
Even greater disparities exist between the study for the head of James Major and the painted version.
In the drawing, the figure lacks a beard and has shorter hair, and the figure also lift his left hand close to the chest, but does not hold up his garment.



Reconstruction process

james Major - originalIn the area around chest, almost was lost.

Unfortunately, the brilliant drapery is not visible.
The current restoration recovered the downy hairs of the mustache and short beard.

Leonardo's original - in Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan


Reconstruction of the james's head by CG  The hair in delicately modulated shades of copper blond falls on the neckline.
Reconstruction of the james's head by CG


reconstruction of the green robeReconstruction of the James's green robe have to rely on principal copies.

Reconstruction of the green robe of James Major.


Reconstruction of the hands.

Reconstruction of the hands.


Principal Copies of James Major

James Major VaticanJames Major Giampietrino

The James's facial feature of the Vatican tapestry is not elegant and delicate.
But it have a lot of information of the hair and beard.
The pose of the Vatican's James is nearly identical to the Giampietrino's James.


Reconstruction of the table (Thomas's dish?)

finger bowl of james MajorReconstruction of the finger bowlReconstruction of the dish with fish


Reconstruction of the salt cellarReconstruction of the bread


Mystery of the salt cellar

According to the principal copy of the Last Supper, the salt cellars placement are equivalent and four places.
The most important one is Juds's salt cellar, it was painted near his right elbow.
But another three salt cellars are indistinct configuration. Especially, two salt cellers were missing.
It can be presumed that the salt celler was placed in front of Thomas's dish.  August 17 2014