Of the sculptor who in 1530 signed a contract with the abbot-general of the Monastery of Santa Cruz, to make a Last Supper for the new refectory, we know only that he was French and that his name was Hodart.
Investigations undertaken even to the present day have not revealed works of art that can be attributed to him with any certainty outside of Portugal. Here, several art historians have recognised his hand in two portraits carved in limestone kept in Góis and Trofa do Vouga, and various sculptures in a chapel in Braga. All these works would have been made between 1529 and 1539, to go by the history of these buildings.
Having finished his Last Supper in 1534, Hodart continued to be paid for the following two years in order to produce an Infant Jesus and other works for the monastery but these have disappeared. Nor does any trace remain of the artist himself.



Who could have recommended this sculptor to Brother Brás of Braga, the abbot-general? Why was clay preferred to Ançã limestone, which was so universally appreciated over the whole country?
A note written in 1622, on the artists who at that time worked in Santa Cruz, said that between them there was one who was:
“very much a perfectionist in works of clay and it was he that produced the Supper … Udarte was what he was called, and in clay he was the first among all artists”.
The one hundred ducats of gold which he received plainly show that he was an artist of great standing. Hodart himself declared that the amount was very generous. Monumental sculptures in terracotta had been in vogue from the middle of the fifteenth century, especially in Bologna, a region rich in clay and where there was no marble, as well as in other regions of Italy and in France. Nor was there any shortage of depictions in clay of the Last Supper. Perhaps clay was used symbolically, to demonstrate that humanity was fragile, in an allusion to the Old Testament, where it says that God formed Man from out of the Earth.