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The copy in Haigerloch – Förderverein

The copy in Haigerloch

There is a reproduction of Leonardo’s picture of the last supper in the Protestant church of Haigerloch. The work was performed as a mural in the original size. Therefore it can be described as one of the most faithful copies in the world. It was created by the painter Friedrich Schüz within a period of twenty-two months.

In 1954 it was completed and presented to the public. The apse was closed with a wall to get a large area for the painting. The place behind the wall is no longer accessible.

The artist Friedrich Schüz came to Haigerloch because of his younger brother Martin. Martin came to the young Protestant community of Haigerloch in 1912, more or less by coincidence. He was in charge of the community for nearly thirty three years during a turbulent period. So Friedrich Schüz came to Haigerloch in the years of the World War II and moved into the Protestant rectory. He stayed there even after his brother Martin’s death in August 1945.

The story goes, that Friedrich Schüz one Sunday suddenly left the church during the worship. Some minutes later he came back with a pocket rule und begun immediately to measure the choir. This was just the moment, when he got the idea of an original sized reproduction of da Vinci’s last supper in the Protestant church of Haigerloch. This incident may illustrate how he was driven by the urge to leave that famous work for the posterity.

Then the church congregation discussed the operation and gave its consent to it after clarifying the financing. The choir was completely closed with a wall to get a flat surface for the painting on the eastern side of the church.

Work began in July 1952. At that time Friedrich Schüz was nearly 78 years old, so that the graphic artist Gerhard Halbritter from Tübingen and the painter Walter Kröll from Gießen were integrated into the operation.

On 15 April 1954, on Holy Thursday, the work was presented to the public during a ceremony. So the city of Haigerloch got a worldwide unique copy which has been underestimated until today.