Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Wedding Night Deal

Judeo-Christian mythology has produced some weird images, but Jan Steen's The Wedding Night of Tobia and Sarah takes the biscuit. On the left side of the picture putti frolic around the marriage bed while the bride and groom appear to be stoned out of their minds. On the right what looks like a winged Saint George is preparing to cook his vanquished dragon. If you don't know the story of Sarah's curse - seven dead husband's all slaughtered by a demon on their wedding night (CLICK) the two images are incongruous. So some bright spark decided to cut the painting in half and sell the halves separately. In the 1960s restoration work on the left part exposed Angel Raphael's wingtips and dagger sheath. In the 1990s the two halves were reunited and painstakingly restored. Then a holocaust survivor in the USA claimed the right half of the painting was Nazi loot stolen from art dealer Jacques Goudstikker! The good news is that a settlement has been reached (title link).


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