Pinacoteca di Brera Informazioni

Marriage of the Virgin

Vittore Carpaccio

In Carpaccio’s Marriage of the Virgin, you can see apocryphal story of Mary’s suitors breaking their sticks, also seen in Raphael’s masterpiece in Room XXIV, when Maria chooses the eldest suitor, Joseph, whose staff sprouts blossoms. The interior is paneled in marble and there is a carefully drawn menorah that shows the effort Carpaccio took to depict what were the exotic aspects of contemporary Venice, with its large and active Jewish population.


Religious labels

“To the few details on the life of Mary in the canonical Gospels, the ‘Apocryphal Gospels’ add episodes that complete her biography, such as the story of a contest for the hand of the Virgin, in which the suitors had to leave their sticks in the Temple during the night, and what bloomed in the morning indicated the winner. Carpaccio stages the engagement of the winner, the elderly Joseph in a ‘temple’ with the Menorah, as well as the disappointment of the losers, who break their sticks.”
Timothy Verdon


Download hi-res image TITLE Marriage of the Virgin
AUTHOR Vittore Carpaccio
DATE 1502 - 4
DIMENSIONS 130 × 140 cm
Work Not On Display
ON LOAN 20th November 2022 > 18th June 2023 Exhibition:
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