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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 (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external) | RCIN 404417

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This is Canaletto at his most recognisable. The artist conjures an energetic festival scene in which Venetians celebrate the Marriage with the Sea, commemorating their city’s strong alliance with the Adriatic. He imbues the festival atmosphere with great dynamism, from the fluttering flags and awnings to the splash of the gondoliers’ oars in the water.

Acquired by George III in 1762 as part of the collection of Joseph Smith, British Consul in Venice