Bucintoro nella Solennità, che si celebra in Venetia nel giorgno dell'Ascensione
Beautiful engraving of Venice on Ascension Day carefullly coloured at the time.
On that day, the Bucentaur (Bucintoro in Italian), the Doges ceremonial barge, was used to celebrate the doge's marriage with the sea. The doge would take a seat on board with nearly a hundred dignitaries, and symbolically marry the Adriatic by throwing a golden ring into it. This was a major ceremony in the ancient Republic of Venice, the custom of which dates back to the 12th century, and symbolised Venice's domination of the waters.
Attributed to the Franciscan Friar Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1650-1718), official cosmographer of the Republic of Venice and founder of the first modern geographical society (Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti), the engraving represents the Bucintoro surrounded by a multitude of various boats and other gondolas, including that of the French ambassador, crossing the lagoon to reach the sea at the Lido port (or San Nicolo port), with the church of San Nicolo in the background and the fort Sant'Andrea on the left (built in the 16th century, it is captioned Castel Nuovo on the print).