The Bucintoro on Ascension Day
From the series Urbis Venetiarum Prospectus Celebriores ex Antonii Canal. Part 1 of Prospectus Magni Canalis Venetiarum (Venice: Giovanni Battista Pasquali, 1742)
Antonio Visentini, Italian, 1688 - 1782. After a painting by Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal), Italian (active Venice, Rome, and England), 1697 - 1768.
The Bucintoro-the large, elaborate ship directly in front of the Doge's Palace in this print-was the state galley used to carry the Doge during the annual Marriage of the Sea Ceremony, which celebrated Venice's maritime power. This ritual took place on Ascension Day, the feast day honoring Christ's ascension into heaven. Every year, the Doge would travel out to the Adriatic Sea on the Bucintoro to perform a ceremony, during which he (acting as the groom) would throw a gold ring into the water (viewed as the bride).