The Wedding at Cana, Bosch

The Wedding at Cana, Bosch
The Wedding at Cana, Bosch

The miracle of the Wedding at Cana is one of the best known and most represented throughout the history of art, there are many authors who have represented this miracle, among them we find the magnificent painting by Veronese that can be found in the Louvre Museum and which measures no less than nine meters wide and more than six meters high. However, the work we are analyzing here predates the Veronese painting, it is an oil on panel painted between 1475 and 1480 by the Flemish artist, Hieronymus Bosch, Bosch.


Bosco is one of the most successful Flemish painters throughout the history of painting. In reality, the artist signed very few of the canvases he made and dated virtually none of them, so it is not easy to follow the tracks of his artistic production; however, it is his particular iconographic style that has allowed art historians to carry out a detailed study of his work and his person. Bosch created a unique and personal style that had a clear didactic intention and moral criticism, but in which fantastic characters and monsters played a fundamental role in his works. The wedding at Cana is known as the first public miracle performed by Jesus thanks to the intervention of his mother, the Virgin Mary, or at least,this is how Saint John relates it in the Gospel 2: 1-11.

On this occasion Bosco hasgiven the work a different interpretation than the versions that had been made until then, normally Jesus and Mary were always the protagonists of the scene, but this time in the center of the composition the spouses stand out together with the Virgin Mary while Jesus is located in the left area of ​​the canvas covered by a canopy that highlights his figure. Bosch's panel has traditionally been understood as a reference to the superiority of chastity over marriage. The husband has identified himself with the figure of Saint John while the bride identifies with Mary Magdalene, both characters gave up their married life to follow Jesus Christ in his teachings.

Other elements that we are not used to seeing in the representation of this passage but that the artist does include are the symbols of carnal love such as the bagpipe or the swan, representation of Venus the goddess of love.

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