Marriage at Cana, Refectory, Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

   Paolo Veronese painted the Marriage at Cana for the same monks who commissioned Tintoretto to paint the Last Supper (1592-1594) in their monastery church. The marriage at Cana represents the first miracle effected by Christ. He and the Virgin Mary were invited to a wedding. When the hosts ran out of wine, Christ turned water from the jugs, seen on the right foreground, into wine. The scene is a noisy, dynamic composition similar to Tintoretto's Last Supper. However, while Tintoretto rendered humble figures, Veronese instead emphasized the opulence of brocade silks and tableware. The result is a scene that looks more like a contemporary Venetian wedding celebration than a solemn representation of a miraculous event. Christ and Mary sit in the center of the table and are the only figures who neither move nor engage in conversation. They are also the only to feature halos. The foreground includes a playful cat and several dogs patiently waiting for a morsel to fall. In front of the table are musicians who entertain the guests. These are portraits (from left to right) of the artist Jacopo Bassano, Veronese himself, and Titian. With their inclusion, Veronese made his case for painting as a liberal art comparable to music.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Refectory —    A dining hall in a monastery where meal taking is permeated with the spirit of prayer and meditation. In the Renaissance, the religious nature of the refectory was often emphasized by the paintings that decorated the walls. These usually… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Veronese, Paolo — (Paolo Caliari; 1528 1588)    Master from the Venetian School who competed for commissions with Tintoretto and Titian. Veronese was from the city of Verona, hence his surname, where he was trained by a local painter named Antonio Badile. In 1553 …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Virgin Mary —    The mother of God whom Catholic doctrine declares she conceived without sin. Mary is the most highly regarded of all saints. She was the daughter of Joachim and Anne who conceived her in old age, and was betrothed to Joseph when the angel… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Paolo Veronese — Self portrait Born 1528 Died 1588 …   Wikipedia

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