Exhibitions

Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget



Family Supper
1972
oil on canvas
70 x 50 in.
National Park Service

Family Supper pays homage to Fasanella's mother, celebrating family and acknowledging the inestimable sacrifices of the matriarch.

Seated at the center of a table reminiscent of the scene in Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, Ginevra Fasanella looks at us with tired eyes that express the cumulative exhaustion of child rearing, housekeeping, and laboring in the garment industry. At the right, we see another incarnation of Joe Fasanella as the crucified iceman, but Ginevra, herself crucified to symbolize all she has endured, is the central focus. The top of her cross bears the initials W.H.S. for "We Have Suffered," and Fasanella's iconic admonition, "Lest We Forget," appears on the building's pediment.

A palette of bright colors draws viewers into a scene wherein every bit of imagery holds symbolic detail. The painting offers a powerful crossroads of themes: family, struggle, endurance, gratitude.



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