JF Ptak Science Books A catalog entry for the Museum of Imaginary and Impossible Things
The History of Miniature and Sub-miniature Recurring Last Supper Images in the Images of the Last SupperThe Scrote Collection
Barent Scrote (1835-1940) , founder and self-scion of the TumLand Cattle Company of Bnillings, Montana, began collecting images of The Last Supper following his near-death-near-starving experience in the great Mountain Freeze of 1883. Finding the images “calming” and “filled with food” and “complete with knives” Scrote managed to accumulate 610 paintings of what many consider and believe to be a sacred scene. The paintings were of varying talents and articulated non-artist copiests, but they were all, indeed, old.
Following the killing winter of 1886 Scrote lost most of his cattle and changed his interests to sheep, also changing his collecting habits from The Last Supper to Implements of Eating Used in the Last Supper.“My narrow interests narrowed, and the entire scene became less interesting, so I focused on the table, until the table itself became boring…that’s when I became interested in the utensils” (this from the unpublished memoirs of Barent Scrote at the American History Center of the University of Montana, Billings).
The extraordinary development within the subcategorization was Scrote’s enormous discovery of separate, single, miniature, stand-alone duplicating images of The Last Supper found within the very painting of The Last Supper. Scrote discovered the dual images of the great event while microscopically surveying the roughly one acre of table-tops that are represented in his Last Supper Collection. Though most of the images were extremely difficult to recognize, some were bafflingly obvious but unrecognized. On display in the museum is one of Mr. Scrote’s most prized possessions, the Horror of the Obvious Duplicating Last Supper engraved by Boot Day in Amsterdam in 1724. “It is magnificent to see the secondary Supper in its obviated presence and invisible glory, having stood the test of standing time, being unrecognized as a duplicating Last Supper for 350 years. It is a triumphant feeling, sometimes, to make a discovery in the obvious”.
Mr. Scrote wrote sparingly and convincingly of his discovery and observations, including, for example:
- “Dual Nature of Miniature Last Suppers with the Last Supper (Major)”, in Horn n’ Rip Magazine, a Magazine for Readers, vol 2/1, pp 1-3, Helena, Montana, September 1890.
- “The Case of Missing Table Ware in Dual Mini Images of the Last Supper…SOLVED”, in Wrting and Writing, vol 2/2, pp 23-24, Billings, Montana, August 1891.
- “Microscopiscal Semiworlds of Newly Discovered Third Dual Mini Last Suppers in the Works of Herrn Pieter Doeshc of Vleland, the Netherlands”, in “My Own Writing”, Silver City, New Mexico, vol 1/1, pp 1-2.