Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wedding at Cana

Title: Wedding at Cana

Artist: Mattia Preti

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 203 x 226 cm

Date: c. 1655

Location: National Gallery, London.

The subject, from the New Testament (John 2:1-11), is the scene of Christ's first miracle when he turned water into wine at the marriage feast in Cana. Mary had learned that the hosts had run out of wine, and advised the servants to do whatever Jesus told them. “Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’ They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.”

Preti was much influenced by Veronese and frequently painted pictures of feasts. Christ is seated at the right; next to him is his mother, Mary, who had told the servants to do Christ's bidding. The flow of this painting is almost fluid, or dreamlike, as the eye follows along the red-clothed arm, to the goblet, and along the head and arm, and down to the stone jars, and to Jesus who gently glows.

Mattia Preti (February 24, 1613 - January 3, 1699) was an Italian Baroque artist who worked in Italy and Malta. Probably before 1630, Preti joined his brother Gregorio (also a painter), in Rome, where he became familiar with the techniques of Caravaggio and his school as well as with the work of artists like Guercino and Rubens. Based in Naples from 1653, he became acquainted with Veronese's works in Venice and Modena. This banqueting scene probably dates from shortly before 1660, and was very probably commissioned by Caspar de Roomer, the hugely wealthy Flemish merchant who lived in Naples.

No comments:

Post a Comment