Master of the Langmatt Foundation (Apollonio Domenichini)
The Return of the Bucentaur on the Festa del´Ascensione
Oil on canvas (relined). 37 x 57 cm.
This work depicts the view of Venice as it was seen from the sea for centuries. Based on a veduta by Canaletto made in the 1730s, this view was to influence an entire generation of Venetian artists. It depicts all the most important religious and secular buildings in the city: The Doge's Palace, the Church of Saint Mark, the Campanile, as well as the Biblioteca Marciana and the Zecca, both designed by Jacopo Sansovino. At the harbour entrance we see the Bucentaur, the sumptuous red and gold state barque of the Doges. The work depicts the closing ceremony of the Festa del´Ascensione, known locally in Venice as the Festa della Sensa. During this spectacular feast on Ascension Day, the Doge was ritually married to the sea. Accompanied by a myriad of other boats and all the most important personalities in the city, the Doge would ride out in the Bucentaur and throw a ring into water. The beginning and end of the ceremony were marked by the state ship leaving from and returning to harbour mouth near the Doge's palace. In this work, we see the high dignitaries and the populace bustling around the palace and wooden market stalls set up on the piazetta between the Doge's palace and the Biblioteca Marciana.
Dario Succi attributes this veduta to Apollonio Domenichini on the grounds of stylistic comparison to signed vedutas by this artist (Succi, op. cit.). Apollonio Domenichini was among the Venetian veduta painters who enjoyed significant international popularity among collectors for his views of Venice and its surroundings. He was a pupil of Luca Carlevarij and long bore the notname “Master of the Langmatt Foundation” after a group of vedutas housed in the collection of the Swiss foundation.
Private ownership, Italy.
Dario Succi (ed.): "Il fiore di Venezia. Dipinti dal Seicento all´Ottocento in collezioni private", Gorizia 2014, no. 150, illus. 153.