(b. 1697, Venezia, d. 1768, Venezia)
Return of the Bucentoro to the Molo on Ascension Day (detail)c. 1732
Oil on canvas
Royal Collection, Windsor
The massive barge, designed by Stefano Conti and the last to be built before the fall of the Republic, has just returned from the Lido. The spectacle it creates, with its huge, brilliant orange flag fluttering before the sky, was clearly one that appealed to Canaletto. It is perhaps the archetypal Venetian scene, combining as it does elements of beauty, showiness, symbolism, and sheer delight in the physical appearance of the city.