La Ultima Cena Del General Sandino By Armando Morales


The work of the Nicaraguan artist Armando Morales is called La última Cena del General Sandino and belongs to a series of works dedicated to the life, activities, and fate of the famous politician Augusto Cesar Sandino. The painting itself was painted in 1993, and everyone can get acquainted with it at the Herb Museum of Art in Gainesville, FL. This work acquires special significance due to the fact that it serves as a kind of reflection on the fate of the artist’s native country. This is very important since the artist uses historical narrative as one of the ways to convey meaning and link it with references. Using colors, shapes, and various references, Armando Morales seeks to draw the viewer’s attention to the fate of a local revolutionary and correlate his life with the activities of Jesus.

Historical Significance and Connection

Before starting the analysis of the painting, it should be noted that it is only part of a group of paintings dedicated to the activities of Sandino. Therefore, in order for viewers to best appreciate each of them, they need to understand several historical facts. After all, it is through the use of various references that Morales seeks to convey the meaning of each of them, reflecting the historically significant reality of Nicaragua (Larach 2010). In this way, the narrative reaches the amplitude necessary for the viewer’s subjectivity to explore the values of the images far beyond their own frames and to see how the problems presented in them transcend the days of Sandino.

Using References to Convey Meaning

The painting La ultima Cena del general Sandino itself is a reference to The Last Supper painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. The choice of this idea may refer the viewer to the idea that Armando Morales is trying to correlate the activities of General Sandino with Jesus (Larach 2010). A similar move is made in the sixth picture from this series, where the viewer gets acquainted with the scene of the execution of a revolutionary (Lucie-Smith 2005). In this case, the artist does not attempt to evaluate the activity from the point of view of its correctness or inaccuracy. However, this picture’s fundamental significance correlates with Sandino’s fate, foreshadowing his imminent death.

The artist, using dark colors, creates a rather intimate atmosphere that immerses the viewer in a kind of secret process. Returning to the events from the picture and considering the reference to The Last Supper, the viewer can conclude that one of the people will turn out to be a traitor. Additionally, the painting displays an extraordinarily skillful use of light and dark contrasts, some particularly dramatic and others very subtle. In this boldly created image, violets, blues, greens, oranges, and yellows assist in mapping the space and the structures it includes.

Applied Techniques

The area of the table’s top where the people are gathered in La ultima Cena del general Sandino is the brightest part of the painting. Sandino is positioned at the head of the table, while President Sacasa is positioned next to him. Around the table, more characters engage in various ways. The use of such a color palette is the primary method in the entire work of Armando Morales (Emmer 2014). His outstanding work reflects a personal vision alien to formal localism or ordinary colorism. He has attractive, somewhat surreal volumes with excellent knowledge of history.

They make a mystical and fascinating work that moves between realistic forms and abstraction in a strange but appealing way. This is reflected mainly in the artist’s use of various irregular shapes and perspectives. Thus, the events taking place in the picture acquire some form of surreality. In the picture, General Sandino is located in the middle, and by the outlines of his face, the viewer can determine that the discussion is about something serious. Above his head is another picture, which also refers to the fate of the picture’s main character (Emmer 2014). Consequently, Morales uses dual immersion, making various connections between historical events and other paintings that foreshadow the fate of General Sandino.


The significance of La ultima Cena del general Sandino is presented to the viewer through immersion in the artist’s reflections on historical events that are extremely important for his country. Armando Morales uses references and artistic metaphors to famous works of art to create the effect of parallelism and correlation. Applying the knowledge of history and taking into account these parallels, the viewer can guess the course of further events, realizing what fate awaits General Sandino. That is why the use of shapes and colors creates meaning that does not seek to evaluate the activities of a revolutionary. The techniques used by the artist allow him to create a more in-depth historical immersion for the viewer. The palette and shapes allow the viewer to realize that this event is secret, creating immersion and tension. Such an immersiveness forces the viewer to be in guesses and make assumptions about what fate can await the protagonist of this series of paintings.


Emmer, Regina N. 2014. “The “New Pantheism” In Contemporary Nicaraguan Landscapes and Literature. A Visual and Textual Analysis of Works by Armando Morales, Gioconda Belli and Omar Cabezas”. XXXVI Coloquio Internacional De Historia Del Arte. Los Estatutos De La Imagen, Creación-Manifestación-Percepción, 505-519.

Larach, Gustavo. 2010. “Three Case Studies of National Narratives in Central American Art”. University of New Mexico.

Lucie-Smith, Edward. 2005. Latin American Art of the 20th Century. London: Thames & Hudson.