Feast in the house of Levi, Paolo Veronese, 1573

Feast in the house of Levi, Paolo Veronese, 1573
Feast in the house of Levi, Paolo Veronese, 1573 - 1

  • Posted by Paolo Veronese
  • Museum: Academy Gallery
  • Year: 1573

Overview of the painting :

The feast in the house of Levi is Paolo Veronese. 1573. Oil on canvas. 560×1309

   The master of lush large-scale paintings, Veronese (1528-1588) decorated many secular and religious buildings of Venice with his works. “A feast in the house of Levi” was written for the refectory of the Dominican monastery of Saints Giovanni and Paolo. Researchers suggest that the picture was originally created on another plot. Various points of view are expressed, on which one: “The Last Supper”, since the “Secret Vespers” of Titian, who died in a fire, “Pir in the house of Simeon” or some other feast, were previously at the place of the work.

   At the end of his work, Veronese was summoned to question the sacred Inquisition for an overly free interpretation of the evangelical scene, inappropriate heroes and unnecessary details that did not meet the strict policy of the Catholic Church related to counter-reformation. After him, the master was given three months to rewrite the canvas, but instead he only renamed it “Pir at the House of Levi”, not such a sacred evangelical scene.

   Veronese is known for its crowded paintings depicting biblical feasts and meals. This composition is a quintessence of his searches in this direction. Written into the classical architectural decoration in the form of a triumphal arch, inspired by the classical works of the popular at that time Andrea Palladio and Jacopo Sansovino, it seems to open to the audience a theatrical action played against the background of a painted ass. A rich palette of bright colors “describes” a motley crowd of characters, among which are Turks, blacks, guards, aristocrats, jesters and dogs. In the center of the canvas is a figure of Christ, given unlike the rest against the sky, she stands out from the participants of the feast with her gentle 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 also made him turn away. His attention is distracted by a Negro servant pointing to a dog who watches a cat playing under a table with a bone.