Niels Larsen Stevns (1864-1941), The Wedding at Kana, 1915-17
Christ has just turned water into wine. In the middle distance, the servants are trying to convince the wondering chief servant of the miracle, and in the background we see the continuation of the wedding feast that had been breaking up because the wine had run out.
A successful history painting
All the central events have been included and take place at the same time. Even so, the picture is characterised by great calm and compositional clarity; perhaps the most successful of all of Larsen Stevns’ history paintings. It is also the last of a series of large-scale religious scenes; perhaps this is why it is a picture where everything falls into place, summing up a range of experiences.
Niels and Joakim Skovgaard
The greatest single contributing factor to Larsen Stevns’ career within the arts was his friendship and collaboration with the brothers Niels (1858-1938) and Joakim Skovgaard (1856-1933). For example, Larsen Stevns assisted Joakim Skovgaard during his great and time-consuming work on the decoration of the cathedral in Viborg.
A Christian belief
Belief in Christ as the Light of the World and a wish to let his art work in the cause of Christianity determined the direction taken by Larsen Stevns. His life’s work is borne by a desire to set free the divine light. It could be symbolic as the bright light that flows through The Wedding at Cana, or it might appear in a landscape where the light takes on a supersensual intensity, illuminating nature with an expressive and very personal colour scheme.