The story of Christ’s first public miracle, performed at a wedding feast in the village of Cana, appears in the second chapter of John. Finding that the wine has been exhausted, Jesus transforms six stone jars filled with water into the finest wine. Jan Steen, who painted the subject six times, never depicted the miracle directly. Instead, he incorporated the event into the larger tableau of the wedding party. Jesus’ presence is hardly noticeable as he performs the miracle quietly in the middle ground.
Steen’s treatment of the religious subject demonstrates how fluidly he mingled historical and contemporary events. Here the act of drinking in celebration of love seems to be a subject equal to that of the miracle. People hold up glasses for a toast, partake of the wine and offer drinks to others, most unaware of the
dramatic transformation that has taken place.
- Artist Name: Jan Steen (Dutch, c.1626-1679)
- Title: Marriage at Cana
- Date: 1676
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dimensions: 31-3/8 x 43 in. (79.7 x 109.2 cm)
- Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
- Accession Number: F.1969.21.P
- Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation
[John Blackwood, London (sale London, Christie’s, 20–21 February 1778, lot 62)].
John Lecomte in Edouard O(utran) sale, (Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 18 January 1877, lot 27, bought in by John Lecomte).
Prince Paul Anatolii Demidoff (1839–1885), San Donato, Florence (sale San Donato, Pillet, 15 March 1880, lot 1126, sold for 10,000).
Alexis-Joseph Febvre (1810–1881), Paris (sale Paris, Hotel Drouot, 17–20 April 1882, lot 84, bought in or sold to Brame for fr. 4355);
Febvre, Beurnonville et al. (sale Paris, Hotel Drouot, 20 March 1883, lot 49).
Laurent-Richard collection, Paris (sale Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 28–29 May 1886, lot 45, sold or bought in for ff. 7200 to Laurent’s daughter); Madame Jean Martin Charcot (née Victoire Augustine Laurent), Paris (†sale Paris, Chevallier, 6–9 July 1900, lot 12, ill.).
[Galerie Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris, from at least 1906 (sale Paris, 25–28 May 1907, lot 176, sold for 27,000 to)];
S. Oppenheimer for;
(?) Otto Gerstenberg, Berlin, still in 1929.
[D. Katz, Dieren].
[Duits, London, no. 6073, from August 1930, half share from 1935 with Goudstikker, Amsterdam (no. 2643)];
Acquired July 1940 by Goering;
Sold 31 March 1942 to [Goudstikker/Miedl, Amsterdam]; Sent 1942 by Alois Miedl to Switzerland, where recovered in 1945.
[Duits, London (?)].
[P. de Boer, Switzerland, on consignment to P. de Boer, Amsterdam, July 1956, sold August, 1956 to];
Professor A. H. Kleiweg de Zwaan, Neerlangbroek, 1956–1962;
Heirs of A. H. Kleiweg de Zwaan, on consignment to;
[P. de Boer, Amsterdam, sold 1968 to];
[Frederick Mont, Inc., New York, sold 1969 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.
Mens e Muzick
- Dordrechts Museum, 1957 to
Weston, W., Quarto,
Mens en Muziek, Neerlandse meesters uit vijf eeuwen, cat. no. 75
Gudlaugsson, S., De Komedianten bij Jan Steen, p. 6
Rembrandt Toonstelling, no. 50
Saint-Groux, A., Les Arts, p. 20
Sutton, Peter and M. Butler, Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin,
Martin-Méry, Gilberte, Exposition internationale (9th in 1959 in Bordeaux, France). La découverte de la lumiére des primitifs aux impressionistes, no. 127 p. 67
de Jonge, C., Jan Steen, pp. 24, 56
Illustrated Catalogue of the Tenth Series of 100 Paintings by Old Masters, no. 38
van Gelder, J., Oud Holland, pp. 209-210
Kirschenbaum, B., The Religious and Historical Paintings of Jan Steen, no. 50, fig. 95 pp. 52, 54, 73, 82, 95, 133
Het Wonder. Miracula Christi, no. 94 p. 88
Sutton, Peter C., A Guide to Dutch Art in America, p. 319
Hofstede de Groot, C., Jan Steen, beeld en woord, p. 178
Schmidt-Degerner, F., et al., Toonstelling Bijbelsche Kunst, no. 121b p. 121
Bredius, A., Jan Steen, p. 34
Haak, B., The Golden Age: Dutch Painters of the 17th Century, pp. 430-431
DeBoer, Lisa, A Broken Beauty, fig. 12 pp. 52- 54, 139
Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, p. 59
Bax, D., Hollandse en vlaamse schilderkunst in Zuid-Africa, p. 115, 122
De Jonge, C. H., Jan Steen, p. 58
Martin, W., Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst, p. 328
Chapman, H. and Arthur Wheelock et al., Jan Steen: Painter and Storyteller, fig. 2 p. 218
Gerson, Horst, The Connoisseur, pl. C. p. 171
Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, cat. 660 p. 324
Martin, W., Jan Steen, pp. 71, 80
Fischel, O., The Burlington Magazine, pp. 60, 65
Norton Simon Museum, Selected Paintings at the Norton Simon Museum, p. 59
Braun, Karel, Alle tot nu toe bekende schilderijen van Jan Steen, no. 369 p. 142
Stechow, W., Nederlands Kunsthistorisches Jaarboek, n. 22 pp. 73-81, 83
Catalogue of Old Pictures Exhibited at the Gallery of C. V. Kunsthandel P. de Boer, Amsterdam, 1956,
Heppner, A., Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, p. 43
Tercentenaire de Rembrandt, no. 115
Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.
Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.
Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.