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What Would Famous Classical Paintings Look Like Without Their Human Subjects?

The world-famous classical painting The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci shows Jesus eating his last meal alongside his disciples . But what happens when you remove all the humans from the painting? Suddenly, the scene is of an empty table in a quiet atmosphere. It’s eerie. Given the context, it could almost be reinterpreted as what the table looked like within a few hours or a day of Jesus’ death.

Spanish artist José Manuel Ballester removes the human subjects from famous classical paintings like The Last Supper to reveal obscure and hidden elements that viewers like us would not otherwise notice. The series, entitled “Espacios Ocultos” or “Hidden Spaces,” transforms stories we already know from familiar artwork, allowing us to reinterpret and rediscover the artwork as a whole.

Ballester’s work combines modern with classic, as he uses technology to reinvent the period pieces. In an interview with Bored Panda, Ballester stated:

At first sight the whole series can inspire some humour, but after a deeper look it’s not difficult to find transcendence and the multiple possible interpretations, both as new images and as related to their original counterparts. One of the clearest aspects in this series is the way we can understand art from the point of view of each period, which has an unique way of looking and understanding reality shared by artists, who develop their creativity inside those period’s values and connect with ideas and universal precepts extended in time.

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