Veronese is known chiefly for his religious feast scenes, which he interpreted in a notably secular manner, as in the Supper at Emmaus (Louvre), Marriage at Cana (1562; Louvre), and Feast in the House of the Pharisee (c.1570; Milan). In these scenes he emphasized splendor of color and lavish accessories, banquet delicacies, highly fashionable courtiers, soldiers, musicians, horses, dogs, apes, and magnificent buildings. In 1573 the artist was called before the Inquisition because certain details in his depiction of the Last Supper were considered irreverent. He defended himself valiantly and ultimately changed the title of the work to Feast in the House of Levi (now in the Academy, Venice). In 1576 he painted one of his most famous works, The Rape of Europa, now in the ducal palace. After the fire of 1577 he was employed in the reconstruction of the ducal palace, where he executed the splendid Triumph of Venice and Venice Ruling with Justice and Peace.
Veronese ranks among the greatest of Venetian decorative painters for his harmonious tonalities and rich textures. Many of his works are in American museums, including Venus and Mars United by Love (Metropolitan Mus.), The Choice between Virtue and Vice and The Choice between Wisdom and Strength (Frick Coll., New York City), Lady with her Daughter (Walters Art Gall., Baltimore), Creation of Eve (Art Inst., Chicago), a family portrait (California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco), two allegorical paintings (Los Angeles County Mus. of Art), and a family portrait and Rest on the Flight to Egypt (Ringling Mus. of Art, Sarasota, Fla).
See biography by A. Orliac (1940); studies by W. R. Rearick (1987), A. Priver (2001), P. De Vecchi et al. (2004) and R. Cocke (2002 and 2005); X. F. Salomon, Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice (museum catalog, 2014).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: European Art to 1599: Biographies