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The Marriage at Cana (1953)

Print, Lithograph on paper, 691mm x 559mm
Stanley and Hilda sit at a table with their wedding cake

This is related to the Marriage at Cana series for Spencer’s ‘Church House’. The New Testament story of Christ’s first miracle (the turning of water into wine at a wedding feast) is transposed into personal terms: Stanley and Hilda as bride and bridegroom with their wedding cake. Conceived three years after Hilda’s death, it referred to their wedding as well as the unrealised re-marriage he had hoped for after their divorce. The painting ‘The Marriage at Cana: Bride and Bridegroom’, 1953 is close to the lithograph. Spencer made only three lithographs, under the guidance of Henry Trivick: here Spencer followed Trivick’s advice, and having made a mistake in drawing with litho chalks onto the plate, turned the plate upside down to start again. His first attempt, a rear view of Hilda, is visible under Stanley’s right leg.