by cheri block
I turned back, once more, to view Veronese’s enormous painting entitled The Wedding Feast at Cana, created in 1563. Of all of the works I saw in a short 5-hour period at the Louvre—including the Mona Lisa and Winged Victory—this one was the most memorable.
As I turned back to snap a picture, I was struck by the image. What do you see?
The people in the room blend into the painting, don’t they? Veronese must have known this would happen. The message is clear: we are a part of this scene. Since I am not Christian, I took my own message, the overarching one that speaks from a small table in the center of the painting.
Below Christ, on a table is a small hourglass (about 5 inches high) and below the hourglass is a dog, chewing on a bone. If you don’t look carefully, you might miss the hourglass, a humble time marker eclipsed by the enormity and pomp of people, the animals, the sunny afternoon, the clothing, and the drama of the religious symbols. You could miss the hourglass had Veronese not placed it smack in the middle of this canvas that takes up the entire room.
You could miss the hourglass, symbol of time.
Above the hourglass is life; above life is afterlife.
Below the hourglass, a dog, symbolizing death, is chewing on his bone.
I left the room, deep in thought.