The Marriage Feast at Cana

Artist: Juan de Flandes (Netherlandish, active by 1496–died 1519 Palencia)

Date: ca. 1500–1504

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: 8 1/4 x 6 1/4 in. (21 x 15.9 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982

Accession Number: 1982.60.20


This was one of forty-seven panels representing the lives of Christ and the Virgin that were made for Isabella of Castile. The picture’s subject is the marriage feast at Cana, when Christ performed his first miracle turning water into wine. The convex mirror, seen behind the married couple, is a common motif in Netherlandish painting. The preparatory underdrawing reveals a number of anecdotal details that were never painted. Their elimination could be indicative of the painter’s moving from a Flemish to a more Spanish mode, and may reflect the more austere style of presentation favored by Isabella and her religious advisors.