|The Last Supper - from an historical event to an image of the Anthropos
The artist worked on “The Last Supper” between 2002 and 2004. Originally, the painting was conceived of as an historical
event. This intention underwent a transformation during the working process partially due the re-reading of some of C.G. Jung’
s collected works especially those related to the Gnostics.
The linked page with details of the painting presents some quotations from Jung's Volume 14, “Mysterium Coniunctionis”
which was instrumental in shaping the development of the content of this Last Supper. Many different publications and books
were consulted including Elaine Pagels fascinating book “Beyond Belief” and “The Gospel of Mary Magdala” by Karen L.
King. Other books such as “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown made interesting reading, but overlook the central relevance
of the archetype.
In her book, King states, “In the Gospel of Mary, being made human means that the Saviour's teaching has led the disciples to
find the Image of the child of true Humanity within. They have grasped the archetypal Image and become truly Human.” (P. 60)
King’s book was the only one that touched on “the child of true Humanity” referring to “this archetypal form of Man” (the
Platonic Anthropos). C. G. Jung’s much more profound and intellectually challenging exposition of the archetypal nature of
Christ in volume 11 of his collected writings, “Psychology and Religion” states, “It was this archetype of the self in the soul
of every man that responded to the Christian message, with the result that the concrete Rabbi Jesus was rapidly assimilated by
the constellated archetype. In this way, Christ realized the idea of the self.” (P. 156, published by Routledge and Kegan, London
The painting of “The Last Supper” by Michael Price was transformed from the depiction of an historical event into a part of
the drama of the archetypal life of Christ. Although the number of disciples has been kept within the traditional iconographic
framework, the artist has not limited himself to those named in the four Gospels that appear in the New Testament.