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Keyl reported in a letter that he had learned from Sir Edwin Landseer that 'The Queen was quite delighted with my Lambs brought them herself with her own hands into his bedroom – thought it quite Preraphaelite'.
Signed and dated: F.W. Keyl / 1868.

Explore Easter imagery in the Royal Collection

Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

The Crossing of San Marco looking to the North Transept on Good Friday c. 1725-30

Oil on canvas | 33.3 x 22.6 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external) | RCIN 400567

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Good Friday, which commemorates the day of Christ’s crucifixion as told in biblical accounts, is marked by a special liturgy in the Catholic Church. In Italy, the ceremony on Venerdì Santo (literally, ‘Holy Friday’) is a particularly important, and solemn, affair.

In this painting, one of his smallest, Canaletto depicts the Good Friday service being conducted in the Basilica di San Marco of his native Venice. The cross and crucifix hanging above the choir screen on the right, symbols particularly relevant to this ceremony, are illuminated by the light entering from the cathedral’s high windows. A priest in white robes can be seen officiating from a pulpit draped in gold, with a crowd swarming below. In the distant gloom of the north transept, the Easter Sepulchre can be discerned. This arched recess plays an important part in the Holy Week rites: on Good Friday, the Blessed Sacrament, representing Christ’s body, is placed in the Easter Sepulchre, which is dressed as his tomb and surrounded by candles. Two days later, during the first mass on Easter Sunday, the Blessed Sacrament is brought out from the recess and returned to the High Altar, symbolising the Resurrection of Christ.