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This poster shows a hopping European party of a few centuries back. Unfortunately there's no attribution or date on this old print. The text resembles German and refers to the second chapter of the gospel of John, which is when Jesus changed water into wine, and drove the moneychangers out of the temple. This looks more like the former, but if Jesus is in the image, I don't recognize him.

Where did this party happen and what was it celebrating?

Festive poster

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It's the Wedding at Cana.

The text is in Swedish, written with Gothic script (this was common up to the end of the nineteenth century in Sweden). The text is

... madd [sic!], som blir smakelig. Om Bröllopet i Kana i Galileen. JOHannis 2 Kap

In English

... food that becomes well tasting. About the wedding in Cana in Galilee. Chapter 2 of John.

The original painting was probably done by Johannes Nilsson, from Halland (this would explain the odd spelling "madd", as that is a souther Swedish dialectal pronounciation), in 1812, or at least someone copying him. Here is a version of the same motif he did in 1797, from Hallands Konstmuseum:

Bröllopet i Kana

(CC-BY-NC 4.0)

You can clearly see that it's mostly the same composition, though reversed, and with fewer figures and less ornaments. He also used this spelling "madd" at least once, but the rest of the text does not match.

  • I read the first fragment as "madd." The artist's capitalization is pretty creative. – Aaron Brick Apr 23 '18 at 16:46
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    Well, from the letters alone, that is reasonable. However, the only meaning of "madd" in Swedish is for a flower (and not a very known one, I had to look it up), so I think that is unlikely. – andejons Apr 23 '18 at 16:58
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    @AaronBrick - There's no reason Jesus or Mary have to be in a depiction taken from that story, and if they were they'd have to be done quite special in some way, so it seems pretty clear to me they aren't in that painting. The couple in the middle look to me to be the host and hostess, which may or may not have been intended to be the new couple (the story implies the groom was involved, but 18th century custom there might dictate that's the bride's parents instead). – T.E.D. Apr 23 '18 at 18:13
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    @AaronBrick "mat" is food, yes. "Mad" is the Danish spelling. But that search was very instructive, so I'm going to update the answer. – andejons Apr 23 '18 at 18:23
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    "Bröllop" is "wedding". "brölloß" is nonsense. – andejons Apr 23 '18 at 20:33

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