(b. 1528, Verona, d. 1588, Venezia)

The Marriage at Cana (detail)

Oil on canvas
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Between 1660 and 1674, Marco Boschini claimed that the musicians in the Marriage at Cana were portraits of the four most famous 16th-century Venetian painters. The man playing the viola da gamba he saw as Veronese, followed by Tintoretto, Jacopo Bassano and Titian. The surviving portraits of these painters contradict this theory, which gave rise to a series of legends. Ridolfi explicitly remarked in 1648 that the portraits of the clerics did not entirely blend with the other figures, who were creations of the imagination. Motifs emphasizing the centre of the picture such as the raised knife of the servant carving a lamb on the raised terrace and the hourglass on the table have symbolic meaning and relate to the words of Christ to his mother: "My hour is not yet come" (St. John 2,4).