The Marriage at Cana (1953)

Print, Lithograph on paper, 691mm x 559mm

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.