Feasting with Veronese

5 years ago

This summer, G. Vegan girl, vegan girl's friend and I went to Venice and we saw this: Veronese's Feast at the House of Levi.  But here's the cool thing.  Originally it was entitled The Last Supper.  But the Church thought it was heretical.  What with the dogs, little people and clearly lewd behaviour.  Vernonese had three months to change it or he would be changed.  Permanently.  So he changed it.  Or at least he changed the title and Feast at the House of Levi was born.

But really.  If you have to go to what you know is going to be your last supper which would choose.  Veronese's veritable stay-vay?  Or this...

 

I'm sure Da Vinci's a genius, at least with respect to the painting, sculpting and engineering.  But the man had clearly never been to a party.  Our man Jesus is positively gloomy and there's nary a smile to be seen.  (But then again think about the Mona Lisa.  That's not really a smile, lady.  Like that was the best she could do?

Back to Veronese.  It's difficult to even figure out what to focus on.  Sure.  There's God.  But then there's all of the particular interesting, bright, beautiful things going on around him.  Everyone is engaged.  Maybe not with the main man, and perhaps that was also shocking to the inquisitors, but they are engaged with someone. They're enjoying themselves, and each other, and this world, and this life.  They're not throwing it all back in the face of God, like Gloomy Gusses.  And Christ doesn't look like he minds at all.  He's clearly engaged in a conversation and, after all, this was his party.  He invited them all.  And while in Da Vinci's painting we get a glimpse of the sky, Veronese opens this party up to the sky and the natural and civil world behind them.  Everything is incorporated into this whole.  Everything counts and nothing is left behind.  Even in death.  And that's something to have a party about.  

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