In the foreground, musicians play stringed instruments of the Late—Renaissancesuch as the lute, the violone, and the viola da gamba.
The original left for Paris in when Napoleon and his troops looted the Benedictine refectory, cut the painting in pieces to be reassembled later in the Louvre where it still hangs opposite the Gioconda Mona Lisa in the Salle des Etatsrecently renovated by Peruvian architect Lorenzo Piqueras.
In falling to the museum floor, the metal framework that held and transported the painting punctured and tore the canvas; fortuitously, the five punctures and tears affected only the architectural and background areas of the painting, and not the faces of the wedding guests.
A black-skinned, servant boy far-left offers a glass of wine to the bridegroom; behind him, a dwarf is holding a bright green parrot. Above the Jesus figure, a carver is carving a lamb, beneath the Jesus figure, musicians play lively music, yet, before them is an hourglass — a reference to the futility of human vanity.
However, unlike most conventional interpretations, Veronese transposed the Bible story to the more modern setting of a typically extravagant Venetian wedding.
Veronese freely mixes the sacred and the profane, the biblical and the contemporary. Above the figure of Jesus, on an elevated walkway, a man watches the banquet, and a serving maid awaits for the carver to carve an animal to portions.
The entire work, for instance, symbolizes the interplay between earthly pleasure and earthly mortality. The musical figures include the four great painters of Venice: Veronese himself dressed in white, playing the viola da gambaJacopo Bassano on fluteTintoretto violinand Titian dressed in red, playing the violoncello.
Note the detail of the cutlery and dishes laid out on the table - each place setting, for example, consists of a napkin, knife and fork. The full-sized 6. Accompanying Veronese are the principal painters of the Venetian school : Jacopo Bassanoplaying the flute, Tintorettoalso playing a viola da braccio, and Titiandressed in red, playing the violone ; besides them stands the poet Pietro Aretino considering a glass of the new red wine.