The Bucintoro was the ceremonial boat of the Doge, the ruler of the Venetian republic. Once a year on Ascension Day, the Doge and other officials boarded this vessel to participate in a ritual celebrating the marriage of Venice and the sea. Here, the assembled group can be seen lining the dock.
The painting is dated by the jagged edge of the bell tower, which was struck by lightning in 1745.
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