VIDEO: A Moment in Art History – The Wedding Feast at Cana – the story of the Mona Lisa’s gargantuan neighbor

How a huge painting by Italian Paolo Veronese was taken from an Italian basilica by Napoleon’s army, ended up in the Louvre, and why it’s still there.

Are in the background of this video.

Butterflies by Christie Hackler: https://pinetop.xanadugallery.com/collections/christie-hackler

Glass flower by Ana Maria Botero: https://pinetop.xanadugallery.com/collections/ana-maria-botero

Landscapes on concrete by Charlie Barr: https://pinetop.xanadugallery.com/collections/charlie-barr

Parts of the video script were sourced from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wedding_at_Cana
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paolo_Veronese

About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.

7 Comments

  1. I’ve never seen the painting in person, but would love to. Huge paintings are a delight, and they amaze as do tiny paintings, scale is an important part of making good art. The fact that this painting was finished in 15 months is amazing, and probably means that Veronese had help painting it. Granted there were fewer distractions when it was painted, no TV, no computers, no telephones, but there was also no electric lights either, so no midnight painting when things were quiet.

    It also shows that a commissioned piece of art can be great, despite the fact that there was patron input. Most fine artists today would squeal like stuck pigs if they couldn’t express themselves without having full control of the creative process. I always enjoyed doing freelance illustration because you had limited time to produce a finished piece, you had to please an art director who usually had pretty good taste, and you got paid for doing the job.

    The painting also suffered everything that a good painting should; cutting, damage, theft, and yet it is still beautiful. The mark of a good painting is that it is worth stealing.

  2. Thank you Jason for this presentation. I marvel that the cloth weavers could create a piece of canvas of this size. That’s another story isn’t it?
    It’s been too long and I don’t remember this piece. Mona Lisa was impressive even though it was quite small. Again, many thanks.

  3. I found this moment in art history very interesting and I agree that the size of artworks make them amazingly captivating. I was fortunate to see Christ of Saint John of the Cross painting by Salvador Dalí that completely stopped me in my tracks. I recall the impact of the unusual vantage point and large surreal space that made the painting seem larger than its physical dimensions. There are only a few figures in this painting but the size of Christ on the Cross is magnified in its relationship to everything else, hovering over a large atmospheric space that draws you in to investigate its meaning. I found this unconventional crucifixion painting evoking a grand presence in the way it was painted with the large scale of the central human figure. I hope to experience more historical moments in art like these. Thank you.

  4. I loved the above comment that “the mark of a good painting is that it is worth stealing”! Also his “stuck pig comment. ( true!) Thank you Jason, as this was so informative. I love art history and yet have never seen this one. I need to return to Paris, as it’s been much too long since a visit to the Louvre, when I was stopped in my tracks by the Rubens paintings of Maria Medici ( there were several, huge, and Rubens energy overwhelmed me is a positive way.
    The Veronese painting is overwhelming. I find I get exhausted just looking at it or thinking about an undertaking of that enormity. However, his sense of color is beautiful. I feel his figures are sublime in the work of his which I have seen at the Prado and in Venice. They are purposefully not endowed with a lot of human-ness, at least I concluded . Your facts are amazing and I marvel that you have time to unearth such interesting anecdotes! Thank you.

  5. I too saw the Mona Lisa and even though I knew it was smaller then most would think, I was still surprised at how small. Possibly the grandeur of the painting is larger than the painting itself. Two years ago, I was in Amsterdam and was impressed with the size of many paintings in the various museums. The Rijksmuseum housed The Night Watch by Rembrandt, which was huge and took up the space in one of the galleries in the museum. Also visited the Van Gogh museum as well, naturally. There were also a number of large paintings in the Portrait Gallery at The Hermitage which were quite impressive. But the best out of that trip was to visit Rembrandt’s house and studio. Just to stand in the same place he created art had me awe struck.

  6. The size of paintings and sculpture is always of interest. There is just something about being physically present with a piece that is so different than seeing it on a computer screen or in a book even with the sizes readily available.

    One thing I always wondered about was the mechanics of working on such a huge piece. scaffolds? Ladders? And did they ever step back to see what their work looked like?

    that would have been a lot of up and down those ladders.

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