Paolo Veronese 1528 – 1588

Feast in the House of Levi

oil on canvas (555 × 1280 cm) — 1573 Museum Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Paolo Veronese biography

This work is linked to Mark 2:15

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This enormous painting was created not so much to express the deeply pious feelings of its artist but to emphasize the grandeur of life in Venice.

Originally called The Last Supper, the painting caused quite a stir. The Inquisition accused the artist of heresy, then a capital sin. The work did not show enough respect for its sacred subject, it was argued, with its midgets, drunks and fools. There is even a dog in the place traditionally reserved for Mary Magdalene, and people dressed as Germans!

Veronese showed some remorse and was duly acquitted. He promised to replace the dog by Mary Magdalene and to remove the Germans.

But Veronese must have felt that the power of the Inquisition was limited in Venice, because he never touched the work again. However, he did give it a less dangerous name: Feast in the House of Levi.

Interesting video about the painting.

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