The painting shows a view towards the Doge's Palace on the right, with Santa Maria della Salute and the entrance to the Grand Canal on the left. The annual ceremony of the Wedding of the Sea is about to take place. The official procession is making its way from the Doge's Palace to the state barge, the 'Bucintoro', and the Doge's ceremonial umbrella is just visible in the crowd. The Doge will drop a gold ring from the barge to symbolise the marriage of Venice to the sea. The arms of the Doge Alvise Pisani, who ruled from 1735-41 are visible on the 'Bucintoro'. These details and stylistic considerations give the approximate date for the work.
This work by Canaletto and its companion piece, A Regatta on the Grand Canal, are among the grandest views of Venice that Canaletto made for the many wealthy visitors who flocked to see the city and to witness the impressive public ceremonies held on the Grand Canal.
22 January 2011