Jan Cornelisz. Vermeyen: The calling of St John during the marriage at Cana (1530-1532)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A painting from the Dutch painter Jan Cornelisz. Vermeyen (1500-1559). The depicted scene is the wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1-12) which contains the miracle of turning water into wine. The feast celebrated the marriage of John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalen. The couple is seated in the center of the table (John is the beardless man with Mary Magdalen on his left) while the apostles Peter and Andrew are seated on his right. Mary in the foreground realises that there is no wine and grasps the shoulder of the servant. Christ is the man seated between Mary Magdalen and his mother and when the news that there is no wine he reacts dismissively. The servant fills the barrels with water whereupon it turns into wine. At this moment John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalen realise that there is a higher purpose to life. Both follow Christ and the couple opt for a spiritual rather than a physical marriage. Painting from 1530-1532.

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