Sometimes its nice to feel like a tourist again. Especially when you’ve only lived in a city for 6 months and have hardly had any time to play tourist yet. This week the school set up a tour of The Last Supper for us. We were led through a church and a convent, and got the coveted 15 minutes alone with the painting. Well, almost alone if you don’t count the short but surprisingly feisty woman working there who almost took one of my classmates heads off for mistaking that she took a picture (she didn’t, but in all fairness someone else in our group snapped one and she mixed up the blondes – it happens!) It was very cool to see a mural from the 15th century, and its a shame that it hasn’t lasted very well over the years due to da Vinci’s method of painting directly on the wall using dry plaster, the fact that the convent is built over a river and the water soaked up through the wall, and that many restorations that were done centuries ago weren’t 100% accurate. Our guide said that even with all the restoration efforts made recently they were able to save only about 40% of the original painting (not to mention the fact that Christ’s feet were removed to make way for a door to the reflectory!) The most fascinating thing about the painting is the composition and how all the lines bring your focus back to Christ’s head. Our guide first started by telling us all about the painting while we were up close, but it was only after he had us move to the back of the room and see the painting from far away was this really evident and awe-inspiring.
Speaking of our guide, he was awesome! He is from Touring Club, and was so knowledgable and friendly. I couldn’t help but notice how content he seemed with his job as he gave us facts about da Vinci and his painting in a hushed, reverent tone with a slight grin on his face. I have to admit, watching him made me a bit envious that his job is to to talk about something he’s so passionate about throughout the city. Right now is prime internship hunting season for MBA’s, and it forces us to really look at where we want to take our careers and what company will be right for us. While everyone has different motivations depending on where they are in their lives, my number one priority is finding something that makes me happy. And from watching our guide and secretly wishing I was an art history pro so I could lead tours and wow people with the secrets of 15th century artists all day long, it reminded me that the end goal in finding job (and ultimately personal) satisfaction is being proud of what you do each day and who you affect. And if I can spend all day talking people’s ears off then even better!
When it comes down it, this year is a type of restoration period for all of us in the program. So as I hit the books in anticipation for next week’s finals, I need to remind myself why I’m putting in all of these hours of grueling classes, projects and exams, and trust that the hard work will all pay off. Back up plan just may have to be PT art history classes.