Feast in the house of Levi, Paolo Veronese, 1573

Description of the picture:

A feast in the house of Levi – Paolo Veronese. 1573. Oil on canvas. 560×1309
The master of magnificent large-scale paintings, Veronese (1528-1588) decorated many of the secular and religious buildings of Venice with his works. “Feast in the house of Levi” was written for the refectory of the Dominican monastery of Saints Giovanni and Paolo. Researchers mean that in the beginning the picture was created on a different plot. Different points of view are expressed on which one: The Last Supper, because Titian’s Last Supper, who died in the fire, the Feast in the House of Simeon, or some other feast, was previously located at the place of the work.

At the end of his work, Veronese was summoned for questioning by the Holy Inquisition. for an extremely free interpretation of the gospel scene, unacceptable heroes, and excessive details that did not meet the church’s serious policies related to the counter-reformation. After him, the master was given three months to rewrite the canvas, but instead he only renamed it “Feast in the House of Levi”, a less sacred gospel scene.

Veronese is known for its crowded paintings depicting biblical feasts and meals. This composition is the quintessence of his searches in this direction. Inscribed in a classical architectural decoration in the form of a triumphal arch, inspired by the classical works of the then popular Andrea Palladio and Jacopo Sansovino, it seems to open the viewer to a theatrical action played out against the backdrop of a painted backdrop. A rich palette of bright colors “describes” a motley crowd of characters, including Turks, blacks, guards, aristocrats, jesters and dogs. In the center of the canvas is the figure of Christ, given, unlike the others, against the sky, she stands out among the participants in the feast with her pale pink tunic. Not a single detail escapes the artist! He not only placed Judas on the other side of the table from the Master, but made him turn away. His attention is distracted by a Negro servant pointing to a dog, who is watching a cat playing under a table with a bone."

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