The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day


Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery
London, United Kingdom

The Bucentaur, or 'Bucintoro' was the great Venetian vessel of State. Every year on Ascension Day, the Doge left the Molo and put out into the Adriatic to perform the ceremony of the symbolic Wedding of Venice to the Sea by casting a gold ring into the water. The barge was the last 'Bucintoro', built in 1724 and destroyed when Napoleon overthrew the Venetian Republic.

During recent conservation an inscription on the back of the canvas was revealed, confirming the date: 'Io, Antonio Canal, detto il Canalletto [sic], fecit - 1760' ['I, Antonio Canal, called Canaletto, made this - 1760'].


  • Title: The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day
  • Creator Lifespan: 1697 - 1768
  • Date: 1760
  • Physical Dimensions: w1018 x h583 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Nationality: Italian
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: An old label on the back has '51- from the collection of Mr [illegible]- sold in Manchester 1838 [or 6]'; gift of H. Yates Thompson, 1915.
  • Inscriptions: On the back of the canvas: 'Io, Antonio Canal, detto il Canalletto [sic], fecit - 1760'
  • Further Information: Canaletto(1697-1768) is best-known for his sparkling views of Venice, of which this is a prime example. Done for the tourist market. His grand scenes of Venice's canals often portrayed the city's pageantry; they appealed greatly to the tourist market and many were sold to Englishmen on their grand tour.
  • Artist: Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal)
  • Acquisition Method: Yates Thompson, Henry (Gift, 1919)

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