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Giuseppe Bernardino Bison (Palmanova 1762-1844 Milan)
Giuseppe Bernardino Bison (Palmanova 1762-1844 Milan)

Venice, the Molo from the Bacino di San Marco, with the Bucintoro

Details
Giuseppe Bernardino Bison (Palmanova 1762-1844 Milan)
Venice, the Molo from the Bacino di San Marco, with the Bucintoro
oil on canvas
27 5/8 x 37 1/8 in. (70.2 x 94.3 cm.)

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Lot Essay

This hitherto unpublished view by Giuseppe Bernardino Bison is taken from the Bacino di San Marco. It shows the south façade of the Zecca (the mint) at far left and, next to it, the Biblioteca Marciana (Libreria Sansoviniana), with the Campanile beyond. At center, the columns indicate the entrance to the Piazzetta and to the right is the Palazzo Ducale behind the great state galley of the doges of Venice, the Bucintoro. The galley was used each year on Ascension Day to transport the doge out to sea, where he would perform the ceremony of the symbolic Wedding of Venice to the Sea by casting a gold ring into the water.
Bison's composition owes much to Canaletto's The Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day, painted for Consul Joseph Smith, Venice, and now in The Queen’s Collection, Windsor Castle. Antonio Visentini’s engraving after that work was published in Prospectus Magni Canalis Venetiarum, Venice, 1735, and may have served as the basis for Bison's painting. At least two other autograph versions of the composition are known: one, of smaller dimensions, in the collection of Jean-Luc Baroni, London (G. Pavanello, A. Craievich and D. D'Anza, Giuseppe Bernardino Bison, Trieste, 2012, p. 213); and another illustrated in Fernando Ghedini's Antiche Pitture (Bologna, 1943, pp. 64-65, pl. XXXIX).
This lot is accompanied by a letter of expertise from Francesco Magani.

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