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“Bucentaur’s return to the pier by the Palazzo Ducale” by Canaletto

Canaletto - Bucentaur's return to the pier by the Palazzo Ducale - Google Art Project

Bucentaur’s return to the pier by the Palazzo Ducale by Canaletto

“Bucentaur’s return to the pier by the Palazzo Ducale” by Canaletto depicts the Doge’s golden vessel, the Buccentoro returning to the pier during an important Venetian Festival. The busy canal with gondolas crowding in on the festival is contrasted with the splendour of Venice.  In exquisite detail, we can see St Mark’s Cathedral, the arcades of St Mark’s library, the gothic lace of the Doge’s palace, the long granite columns and the palazzos.

Canaletto - Bucentaur's return to the pier by the Palazzo Ducale - Google Art Project-x2-y1

The annual festival depicted in this and many other Canaletto paintings is held on Ascension Day when ancient tradition requires the Venetian Doge to sail to the Adriatic Sea and toss a gold ring into the sea as a symbol of the union of Venice and the sea. This tradition ensured the prosperity of the City of Venice and her fleet. The journey began and ended at the Dodge’s Palace and St Mark’s Cathedral. This painting captures the end of that journey.

This famous Canaletto is a typical example of the vedute paintings popular with Grand Tour travellers of the 1700’s as a visual record of their travels. Canaletto was one of the more famous painters of city views or vedute, especially of Venice.

Canaletto - Bucentaur's return to the pier by the Palazzo Ducale - Google Art Project-x1-y1

Many of Canaletto’s paintings can be found in museums across the world, depict highly detailed, usually large-scale paintings of Venetian other famous cityscapes or vistas. My favourite Canaletto’s include:

Bucentaur’s return to the pier by the Palazzo Ducale

  • Title:                         Bucentaur’s return to the pier by the Palazzo Ducale
  • Artist:                       Canaletto
  • Year:                         1727 – 1729
  • Medium:                  Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions             H: 1,820 mm (71.65 in). W: 2,590 mm (101.97 in).
  • Museum:                  Pushkin Museum

 Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto)

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“There is something so different in, Venice from any other place in, the world, that you leave at, once all accustomed habits and, everyday sights to enter an, enchanted garden.” Mary Shelley

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Photo Credits: 1) Canaletto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons