Each year on 21 November, the feast of the Presentation of the Virgin, the Doge of Venice made a state visit to Santa Maria della Salute to renew the thanks of the City to the Virgin for their deliverance from the plague of 1630. A bridge of boats was thrown across the Grand Canal for the occasion.
This view of the entrance to the Grand Canal shows Baldassare Longhena’s church of Santa Maria della Salute, with the Abbey of San Gregorio in the far foreground. On the left in the distance are the great civic buildings of Venice, with the Bucintoro moored in front of the Ducal Palace. It is likely that this view derives from one of Canaletto's treatments of the same perspective (see W.G. Constable, Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768, Oxford, 1962, I, nos. 168-176). Filippo Pedrocco, in a private communication with the owner (dated 20 July 2010), believes this view to be a work of William James, an elusive artist who is thought to be an English follower of Canaletto, possibly a student of the artist during his stay in England.