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Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

The Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day c.1733-4

Oil on canvas | 76.8 x 125.4 cm | RCIN 404417

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The great Venetian festival of the Wedding of the Sea took place on Ascension Day. The Doge was rowed out of the lagoon into the Adriatic in his ceremonial galley, the ‘Bucintoro’, and dropped a ring into the sea symbolising Venice’s maritime power. Here spectators in smaller boats excitedly watch the return of the ‘Bucintoro’ in clear spring sunlight.