(b. 1668, Padova, d. 1752, Napoli)
Gilded wood, 119 x 83 cm
Museo Correr, Venice
The Bucintoro was the splendid state barge on board of which the doges celebrated the ritual betrothal with the sea. Each year on the Feast of the Ascension, the state barge was sailed to the Lido for the traditional rite. Already in use in the 14th century, the Bucintoro seems to have even more ancient origins. The last of these barges was built in 1722-1728, carved and gilded by Antonio Corradini. All that remains of it is the splendid hatch cover, depicting St Mark, the city's patron saint. Through this aperture the doge would cast the ring that wedded Venice to the sea.