Paolo Veronese's Marriage Feast at Cana (1562––62; Muséée du Louvre, Paris) reflects the dining experience of the Benedictine monks whose tables continued along the walls of the monastery's refectory as an extension of the painting. In effect, the monks shared the meal, becoming part of the miracle portrayed in Veronese's grand banquet. Moreover, the sumptuousness and decadence of late-sixteenth-century Venice, reflects the dining practices and sociability of the time. Feasting scenes, like the one depicted here, often did not emphasize food; rather, the focus was on the conspicuous display of material goods for which the Venetians were famous. The opulence of the environment, the table settings, and service rival the sumptuous dress of the wedding guests.
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