The Miracle of the Supper (excerpt)
Based on the original writings of Fernanda Wittgens, The Miracle of the Supper recounts the life of this scholar and art critic who also happened to be Milan’s first woman Soprintendente delle Gallerie.
Under the direction of Marco Rampoldi, Sonia Bergamasco breathes life into the character of Fernanda, who embodies the noblest interpretation of public service to protect our shared heritage. Unfailingly loyal to her ideals even in the terrible context of the race laws, she devoted all her energy to preserving and enhancing a heritage belonging not just to Milan but to the whole world.
Fernanda played a timely and energetic role in salvaging numerous works of art in Milan, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper which she protected from gunfire and shelling and from violent explosions, and miraculously saved from being destroyed in an air raid.
She also spent several months in the city’s San Vittore prison during the Fascist era on a charge of protecting fellow Milanese of Jewish birth and helping them leave the country. Fernanda experienced life in prison as a “stage on the road to perfection”, as she put it in a letter to her mother. And in the immediate postwar years she played a crucial role in Milan, a city whose most important historical and cultural sites had been badly damaged. She acted with unflagging energy to ensure that reconstruction of those sites was considered necessary and a priority on a par with the reconstruction of factories, hospitals and schools, thereby performing her second ‘miracle’. She worked with tireless energy and commitment for eight years to ensure that Leonardo’s fresco would benefit from proper restoration.