“Wedding at Cana” – An Artistic view

"Wedding at Cana" – Paolo Veronese, 1563

The Wedding at Cana is featured only in John’s Gospel but is the first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John. In the Gospel account, Jesus and his mother are invited to a wedding, and when the wine runs out, Jesus performs a miracle by turning water into wine.It is considered to have symbolic importance as the first of the Seven signs in the Gospel of John by which Jesus’ divine status is attested, and around which the gospel is structured.

"When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk." The most prevalent interpretation is that this is a reference to the appearance of Jesus. The miracle could also be seen as the antitype of Moses’ first public miracle of changing water (the Nile river) into blood.

The exact location of Cana has been subject to debate among scholars.Modern scholars maintain that since the Gospel of John was addressed to Jewish Christians of the time, it isn’t likely that the evangelist would mention a place that did not exist. Villages in Galilee which are candidates for historical Cana are: Kafr Kanna, Kenet-l-Jalil (also called Khirbet Kana) and Ain Qana and Qana in southern Lebanon.

The event has been a topic in art from the beginning of Christianity. You can see the image on sarcophagi from the 4th century, a mosaic from the 6th century and Giotto’s version in the 14th century 

Later works in the Renaissance displayed the event grand scale trying to capture the 1,000 guests. One of the largest attempts was Paolo Veronese (1528-1588). It is on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris and is their largest painting at 22′ 3″ x 32′ 0″. 

Links to the art:

1. Christian Iconography
2. World’s Best Paintings of Cana Weddings  
3. Vernonese work

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