c.1732. Oil on canvas. Royal Collection, UK. Read Note.
A Regatta on the Grand Canal is a companion painting to The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day. A gondola race, which formed part of a Regatta on the Grand Canal, is depicted. Such events had been organized since the 14th century as part of the Carnival, and were also occasionally arranged to honor notable visitors to the city.
The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day. The Busintoro was the golden barge, which participated in a ceremony on Ascension Day. In 998 AD Venice won an important naval victory over Dalmatia. The commemoration of the victory used to be celebrated on Ascension Day. During the event the Doge traveled in the Bucintoro out into the Lido, where he cast a ring into the sea, as a symbol of the marriage or union between Venice and the Adriatic. The Pope in gratitude for Venice’s participation in war gave such a ring to a 12th century Doge.
See: Canaletto. A Regatta on the Grand Canal. The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day.