The Last Supper – Jannes de Vries was commissioned to paint for the church in Vries.
Years ago, the Protestants congregation in Vries were donated two paintings by a churchgoer. They were painted by Jannes de Vries, a triptych with ‘Infant Jesus in the stable with Josef and Mary’ and ‘The Last Supper’. Concerned church members pushed for the restoration of these paintings and started fundraising. ★contact us★
The conditions of ‘The Last Supper
The last painting had suffered badly over the years in a damp church. Due to this the paint layer had cracked in several places and had come loose. Unfortunately, many pieces of paint had already crumbled and disappeared. But during research in Marjan de Visser conservation studio, the painting also turned out to be seriously contaminated. Of course, this was to be expected after hanging in a church for so many years.
Restoration of the painting ‘The last supper’ by Jannes de Vries
On Maundy Thursday, a start was made on cleaning the paint surface. Maundy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum, the period which commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus; this period includes Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and ends on the evening of Easter.
The painting is not varnished. The paint layer is matte and porous. Jannes de Vries used the palette knife to create ‘The Last Supper’. There is a lot of structure in the paint layer. With a cotton swab and water mixture specially prepared for this painting, the dirt is rolled off the surface. A dark-gray layer of dirt disappears from the painting. The cotton wool turns black. The bright color scheme that Jannes de Vries chose for the composition is revealed.
Other parts of the painting have been cleaned with a brush. The brush has a needle from which the cleaning agent drips. Dissolved dirt is reduced with the Aspeed, which absorbs the moisture.
Version ‘Last Supper”
The Protestant congregation in Winschoten (Groningen) also has a version of the painting. This is very similar to the painting from Vries. The same figures around the table with the bread and the glass of wine. However, Jesus shares the bread. The most notable difference is that all of the disciples look closely at Jesus. Just like he’s talking to them.
Jannes de Vries and ‘De Ploeg painterss’
Jannes de Vries is considered to be a painter of De Ploeg. Like Johan Dijkstra, Jan Altink and Jan Wiegers, he painted the Groninger Landscape. In 2019 he was given a retrospective exhibition at Kunst aan de Dijk in Kortenhoef. Of course a catalog was published in which Marjan de Visser wrote a piece about the painting technique of Jannes.