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Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

Venice: The Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day 1729

RCIN 907451

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This and another picture (RCIN 404416) form a pair, much larger than the other twelve views on the Grand Canal, and were engraved as the final two plates of Visentini's Prospectus Magni Canalis Venetiarum (Venice, 1735), thus providing an uncontested date

The Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day ©

Canaletto here recorded the Ascension Day celebrations of 26 May 1729, at which the new gilded Bucintoro – the Doge’s ceremonial ship, seen to the right – made its first appearance. The excitement generated by this spectacle must explain why Canaletto was quickly commissioned to produce at least three large paintings of the scene. Some five years later, he painted another version for Joseph Smith.