Using history as a source of inspiration is natural. We use it to fuel new ideas, learn from the past and also reminisce on the values and tradition that have shaped our modern society. Leonardo da Vinci recounted history in the 15th century when he painted L'Ultima Cena or The Last Supper for his patron Duke Ludovico Sforza and his duchess Beatrice d'Este. The original mural by da Vinci has a 1:2 ratio and covers an end wall of the dining hall at the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
Once again, this famous account is reinterpreted and placed right at our dining table. The ''Bella Maniera'' by Mr. & Mr., a design studio based in France, is an inventive and fun collection of 13 linen place mats to accompany your next breakfast, lunch, dinner or special event. The collection is shown in a similar arrangement to the original cast and order, representing the same spatial proportion of 1:2 ratio. Each apostle is represented by a set of hands depicting through symbolism their traits and historic personality. The collection is a playful and friendly way of revisiting not only this important religious moment but also remembering the tradition of unity and sharing that was part of refectories and many households for many centuries.
Our modern society seems to be fracturing the dining tradition of being together around a table. We seem too busy, too independent (personally) or too dependent (on technology) to gather around the table. Bella Maniera in some way or another uses its graphic and playful interpretations to pull us back into that tradition. The collection is made of a 100% cotton and it is machine washable. S o whether you are serving 13 or want to use them to appoint a family member or friend to the characteristics of one of the apostles, Bella Maniera seems to do its practical function and social function as well.
The Last Supper was a project once, that with time became a timeless piece of art. Maybe Bella Maniera by Mr. & Mr. will not live up to that but it is a project as well and it deserves a look as it carries semiotic and practical value. We are sure that it will not be The Last Supper but it can perhaps be part of your next supper. Buon appetito!