Chester Dale College, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The Sacrament of the Last Supper, by Salvador Dali (1962).

Meticulous details and fantasy that evokes hallucinatory effects characterize this work—a startling example of surrealistic art by its most famous exponent.

In Dali’s interpretation we see no indication of the Passover meal. Jesus has begun the transformation to spirit; his transparent body reveals the boats and water in the lake beyond. On the table, bread and wine already symbolize the body and blood of Jesus and by their placement, focus our eyes on his face and gesturing hands.

The twelve apostles draped in stylized monks’ robes kenel and avert their faces, giving us no hint of their characters or intent.