Icon of the Wedding at Cana – F113

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From the Church of Saint Nicholas in Thessalonika, northeastern Greece, this famous early 14th century icon is a fresco or wall-painting in the Byzantine style from the Macedonian School of iconography.  Christ’s Apostle, Simon the Zealot, according to tradition, is seated here with his bride as the Mother of God speaks to Jesus about the lack of wine for the rest of this festive day.  At the right, the steward has given the master of the feast the water turned wine, and he says that this is the best wine until now, asking why it was not put out first.  Often times it is condensed in icons to show non-simultaneous events happening at the same time.

The table shown here is in inverse perspective, another common iconographic technique so that the viewer, rather than being just a casual observer, is then included in the icon as the converging lines of perspective move out towards and envelope him.  It is an invitation for us to enter the end of time at the end of the ages, which icons express in form and in theology.  The deep blues, bright colors, and peaceful yet expressive faces are the hallmark of this truly masterful icon and the humble genius who made it.

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St. Nicholas Church Naos, Thessalonica, Greece