An image of Last Supper

Ian Fairweather

(Scotland, Australia 29 Sep 1891 – 20 May 1974)

Last Supper

Other titles:
The Last Supper
Not on display
Further information

After returning to Australia following his ill-fated raft journey to Timor in 1952, Ian Fairweather moved to Bribie Island in Queensland. Here he began a series of large religious paintings, of which 'Last Supper' is considered the finest.

Elements of his earlier travels through Asia, knowledge of calligraphy and exposure to contemporary European art all fuse in this work, one of Fairweather’s earliest attempts at abstraction. The title refers to Christ’s last meal with his 12 disciples, yet as Fairweather biographer Murray Bail observes:

In what would seem to be a complex repainting of Leonardo’s full-frontal mural, Fairweather tilts the long table, but there is no clearly apparent Christ. Instead, two forces of waving hands and sandalled feet huddle on the left and right. The erupting bedlam suggests more the impending martyrdom of our Saviour by the mob …

Place of origin
Bribie Island, Queensland, Australia
synthetic polymer paint and gouache on three sheets of laid paper on hardboard
97.0 x 244.0 cm board; 109.0 x 235.5 x 6.5 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed l.r., grey gouache "IF [monogram]". Not dated.

Purchased with funds in memory of Patrick White, Norman Schureck and Susan Chandler 2010
Accession number
© Ian Fairweather/DACS. Licensed by Copyright Agency