Description: The present painting, for which Duke Ferdinand Gonzaga of Mantua probably commissioned Pier Francesco Mazzuchelli detto Il Morazzone, may have been a bozzetto for a larger painting or a fresco, but which was either never brought to fruition, or is now lost. One draft drawing from Morazzone, where the figures are almost identical but without the architectural background, is found in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu (35,5 x 84,5 cm, Inv.-No. 90.GG.117, compare Nicholas Turner, Lee Hendrix und Carol Plazzotta: J. Paul Getty Museum. European Drawings 3. Catalogue of the Collections, Los Angeles 1997, p. 76, No. 29). Another version, found in a Roman private collection and of almost the same dimensions as our painting, was published by Mina Gregori in 1962 (oil on canvas, 86 x 115 cm, compare Mina Gregori: Exhibition Catalogue „Il Morazzone", Varese 1962, p. 102f, no. 81, ill. 219), although Gregori's attribution to Morazzone has recently been called again into question (compare Jacopo Stoppa: Il Morazzone, Mailand 2003, p. 85f).
Various suggestions have been made about the subject matter of the work, although a truly convincing answer has not been found. Mina Gregori advocates the depiction of the 'wedding at Cana' whilst other suggestions include the mythological subject of 'the wedding of Thetis and Peleus'. However the Old Testament theme of 'Ahasuerus and Haman at the feast of Esther' seems most probable.
Dimensions: 84.5 x 112 cm
Artist or Maker: PIER FRANCESCO MAZZUCCHELLI, CALLED IL MORAZZONE, attributed to
Medium: oil on canvas (relined)
Exhibited: A BANQUET
Provenance: Private collection, Spain.
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