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Marriage at Cana

Painting, XVI century, 93×72 cm

Description of the artwork «Marriage at Cana»

"Marriage at Cana" the majority of researchers for a long time attributed to the late early period of creativity of Bosch (1475 – 1480 yy): first, the picture is almost devoid of fantasmagorichnost, which will be the hallmark of the Mature of Bosch, and secondly, the appearance of the theme of the wedding are correlated with the marriage of the artist to Alert Goyard von der Meervenne in 1481, the year is a rare case when the product Bosch could at least somehow linked to his biography. The original picture has apparently been lost. "Marriage in Cana" in the collection of the Museum of Boymans van Beuningen (Rotterdam), now considered a copy or an imitation of a late follower of Hieronymus Bosch, completed between 1560-1580. It is not too well preserved: the upper corners of the boards are cut and the heads of the characters have obvious signs of tampering.

The basis of the plot taken as gospel episode, which takes place in Cana of Galilee. There is a wedding feast, in which present at the triumph of Christ turns water into wine. However, the composition of Bosch (or his successor) far from the traditional iconography of this subject: here there are characters whose presence is difficult to explain, and details whose significance is difficult to interpret.

The most straightforward allegory – the two little dogs, a traditional symbol of fidelity, in the lower left corner. But to Bosch they have no relation: dog was finished, and rather late – in the XVIII century. Bagpipes the musician in the upper left corner in the Dutch folklore of the times, Bosch has a very Freudian sense: round leather bag symbolizes femininity, reed tube – men. On the column revived sculptural Cupid is preparing to release a love arrow. I assume that the bagpipes, and Cupid could be later opisami.

It is not clear why the figure in priestly garb, standing face to the bride and groom and with his back to the viewer, smaller in scale than the others. It may not be a spiritual person who sanctifies marriage, and the steward of the wedding. Not clear and the function of man at the buffet, located in the depths of the painting between the columns. Wand or rod which he holds in his hand suggests that we face a mage or alchemist. Since the theme of the painting – the mystical realization of the two substances (water turning into wine), I assume that the alchemist is the organizer about miracles in opposition to the true miracles that Christ performs. However, most researchers acknowledge that the exact meaning of the actions of these characters eludes our understanding.

Interesting and not always understandable details marked interior, where the action is "Marriage in Cana". It is believed that this Dutch tavern, but the passages are much more profound than, for example, in "A peasant wedding" Pieter Brueghel. Behind Christ, seated at l-shaped Desk – gold embroidered canopy. Maybe he hides another, adjacent room. The vessels on the sideboard reminiscent of the alchemical retort, in addition, there is a bowl in the shape of a Pelican (the bird, according to legend, feeds its Chicks with blood in the middle ages was a symbol of the blood of Christ), and also a sculpture with two almost obscene woven bodies, reminiscent of the marriage as a bodily connection.

Two Ministers are serving festive treats – boar's head and Swan. As is known from archival documents of the city of ' s-Hertogenbosch, the Hieronymus Bosch belonged to a religious Brotherhood of the Swan, the meeting which was marked by the eating of fried poultry, so there is a biographical hint.

Servant in the lower right corner fills with fluid the last of the six jars. Christ surrounded by two donors in the garb of the fifteenth century, and the virgin Mary almost never stand out in a number of guests for the wedding. The bride, seated at the right hand of Maria, like she humbly lowered her eyes: thus the spectator is given to understand that marriage is a sacrament. Note the resemblance of the groom and the Apostle John with a painting by Bosch "John the Evangelist on Patmos". Probably, the author of the picture adheres to the existing version that the wedding at Cana was the wedding of John. "In the gospel text the name of the groom is not named writes Walter Bosing, author of the book "Hieronymus Bosch. Between Heaven and Hell" – but many scholars identify him with the beloved disciple of Christ. It to him at the end of the feast approached Jesus with a request to leave his wife and follow Him to another wedding. According to some scholars, he left his wife could be Mary Magdalene. The marriage in Cana of Galilee, embodied the medieval ideal of chastity, in the eyes of the Lord having a much greater value than carnal Union".

Author: Anna Yesterday
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene, Religious scene

Style of art: Northern Renaissance

Technique: Oil, Tempera

Materials: Wood

Date of creation: XVI century

Size: 93×72 cm

Artwork in selections: 9 selections

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