This jewel-like painting on copper by Lavinia Fontana depicts the Wedding at Cana. The episode is taken from the Gospel of John (2:1-11) and recounts how Christ replenished the feast’s depleted wine with transformed water. Fontana shows the moment of the miracle, with Jesus raising his hand in benediction; the prominent, golden jugs are evidence of Christ’s glory.
The present work is one of only several works by Fontana painted on copper. The artist has painstakingly applied the paint in thin layers and the resultant work is polished, luminous and highly detailed. The composition bears a striking resemblance to Giorgio Vasari's Cana, in the Church of San Pietro in Perugia. The artist's father, Prospero Fontana (1512-1597), was part of Vasari's studio and assisted him on projects in Rome and Florence, and it is likely that she would have known it first hand.
The attribution of Lavinia Fontana has been endorsed by Professor Daniele Benati.