by nadja sveir
Feast in the House of Levi, Paolo Paolo Galliari Veronese, 1573
From the transcript of the artist’s interrogation before the Holy Office, 1573:
Q. Do you know the reasons why you have been called here?
Q. Can you imagine what those reasons may be?
A. I can well imagine.
Q. Say what you think about them.
A. I fancy that it concerns what was said to me by the reverend fathers, or rather by the prior of the monastery of San Giovanni e Paolo, whose name I did not know, but who informed me that he had been here, and that your Most Illustrious Lordships had ordered him to cause to be placed in the picture a Magdalen instead of the dog; and I answered him that very readily I would do all that was needful for my reputation and for the honor of the picture; but that I did not understand what this figure of the Magdalen could be doing here; and this for many reasons, which I will tell, when occasion is granted me to speak.
Q. What is the picture to which you have been referring?
A. It is the picture which represents the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with His disciples in the house of Simon.