Never Before Seen Metalcut of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” Is Uncovered

Materials testing and iconography provide evidence linking this metalcut, created between 1480-1520, to Leonardo Da Vinci

BOSTON--()--In a groundbreaking discovery by James Constable, Boston-area art scholar, collector, and Harvard Art Museum Fellow, the below metalcut has been identified that may be the earliest version – and possibly only original version remaining – of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper.”

Metalcuts are a rare form of relief printing that date to the 15th century. They are created by engraving lines that serve as sublayers of the final masterpiece.

Through eight years of research, extensive chemical testing at The McCrone Group and additional analysis, the metalcut features unique designs, images and chemicals that are often attributed to Da Vinci.

Some of the conclusive findings indicative of Da Vinci’s work within the Plate include:

  • The symbol of Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, who commissioned Da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” is found on the metalcut;
  • The decorations on the sides and top of the metalcut are mirrored in the architecture of the Santa Maria delle Grazie Church in Milan, home of the “Last Supper” and where Da Vinci served as architect and artist;
  • The inclusion of secondary hatching and advanced engraving techniques, drapery formation and design – that were exclusive to Da Vinci who was left handed – suggest the metalcut was made contemporaneously with the creation of the “Last Supper” painting;
  • Signature Da Vinci monogram symbols are found in the metalcut - including Da Vinci’s personal signature;
  • The metalcut’s 500-year-old casting and refining techniques, along with the presence of alunite, a sulfate mineral mined near Allumiere, Italy where Da Vinci worked, are all present and indicative of Da Vinci’s work;
  • The earliest version of the “Last Supper” depicts Jesus’ right sleeve not resting on the table, as seen in the above metalcut, proving this was made before 1520 in the lifetime of Da Vinci;
  • This Plate may contain one of the earliest engraved self-portraits of the artist, Leonardo Da Vinci.

All interview inquiries and requests can be coordinated through Lauren Mucci, available at or at 617-646-3317.


For James Constable
Lauren Mucci, 617-646-3317

Release Summary

In a groundbreaking discovery by James Constable, Boston-area art scholar, collector, and Harvard Art Museum Fellow, an original "Last Supper" metalcut has been identified.

James Constable