The Doge Visits Sta. Maria della Salute
From the series Le Feste Ducali (Venice: Ludovico Furlanetto, 1779)
Giovanni Battista Brustolon, Italian, 1712 - 1796. After a drawing by Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal), Italian (active Venice, Rome, and England), 1697 - 1768.
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Each year on November 21 Venice celebrates the Festival of La Salute, commemorating the end of a plague that devastated the city in 1630. On this occasion, a temporary bridge made of wooden planks and boats strung together is erected across the Grand Canal. The bridge leads to the church of Santa Maria della Salute (literally Saint Mary of Health), constructed in the seventeenth century to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for saving the city from the plague.