Jakob Crils, who was abbot of the abbey from 1664 until 1695, commissioned the painting in the transept of the Church of Our Lady. Dinner parties of pharisees with Jesus were exciting, because they often led to a confrontation of opposing views. Jan Erasmus Quellinus sought inspiration for the church with Venetian architect Andrea Palladio who, in his turn, looked at antiquity to inspire him.
This neo-gothic church, with its simple, monochrome white high, narrow and long interior, is the centre of the abbey where the Norbertine monastic community celebrate the eucharist. The Da Vinci museum in the abbey also houses a close replica of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous 1498 fresco of the Last Supper on the wall of the dining hall in the Dominican monastery in Milan. Legend has it that the work of almost 34 sqm in Tongerlo was painted by Da Vinci’s pupil Andrea Solario, under the watchful eye of the master himself. Whatever the truth may be, American experts have proclaimed it the best replica of the fading original and the heads of Jesus and the Apostle John have been attributed to Da Vinci himself.