Permanent Collection

Pieter Aertsen (Dutch, c. 1507 – 1575)

The Parable of the Marriage Feast

1550 – 1554

Oil on panel
48 ½ x 66 ½ in.
Purchased with funds from the Cummer Council

Pieter Aertsen, born and trained in Amsterdam, spent much of his career working in Antwerp. Many of his large-scale religious scenes were destroyed during the Beeldenstorm of 1566, a period of political and religious upheaval throughout Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The Parable of the Marriage Feast, a rare surviving work, depicts the entire parable as outlined in Matthew (22:1-14). A king invited his subjects to celebrate the wedding of his son. When none arrived, the king commanded his servants to collect both bad and good so the celebration could commence. However, the king noticed one among the crowd not dressed for the occasion and had him banished. The parable ends with the words, “many are called, but few are chosen.”