- Museum number
The Doge carried around St Mark's Square before his Coronation; with figures beating back the crowds
Pen and brown ink, with grey wash, heightened with white (oxidised), over black chalk (much of which drawn with the ruler) and some red chalk
- Production date
Height: 379 millimetres
Width: 552 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This is one of four drawings from the Salting Bequest from Canaletto's series of twelve studies of 'Le Feste Ducali' (two of which have disappeared). These illustrate the election and installation of the Doge, and the Venetian ceremonies and festivals in which he took the leading part at different times of the year (Constable-Links 630-9). Canaletto's ten 'Feste Ducali' drawings were found in a bookseller's shop by Sir Richard Colt Hoare in Venice between 1787 and 1789, when the Venetian dealer Giovanni Maria Sasso reported to Sir Abraham Hume that they were as beautiful as any paintings. The drawings are preparatory to a set of engravings by Giovanni Battista Brustoloni, the engraver also responsible for the prints after Canaletto's Roman drawings in the BM (see 1858-6-26-221). The publication of eight of the series was announced by the publisher Ludovico Furlanetto in March 1766, and four months later he secured permission to extend the series to twelve works. The precise date of the publication of the full set is unknown. For a bound copy of the complete set in the BM, see 175.e.7 (and the entry under 1914,0615.22.1)
Canaletto's drawings must date from the period 1763-6 as one of them (Constable-Links 636; now Ratjen Foundation, Vaduz) includes the arms of Doge Alvise Mocenigo, who was elected in 1763. The inscription on the prints 'Antonius Canal pinxit' misled some scholars into thinking that Brustoloni had copied paintings on this theme: it is now generally agreed that this is not the case (for the critical history see Constable-Links, II, pp. 525-7). The verb 'pinxit' [painted] is also found on Brustoloni's prints after Canaletto's Roman drawings. Further confusion has been created by the use of Brustoloni's prints as the models for paintings by Francesco Guardi (A. Morassi, 'Guardi', Venice, 1973, nos. 243-54) and by anonymous followers of Canaletto.
Brustolini's engravings are extremely faithful to Canaletto's drawings, and are also in the same direction. As the outlines of the drawings have not been incised the designs must have been transferred onto tracing paper. This method of transfer would have allowed the compositions to be engraved on the plate in reverse, thereby ensuring that they were in the same sense as the drawings when printed (for methods of transfer of this kind see M. Bury, in exhib. cat., BM, 'The Print in Italy 1550-1620', 2001, pp. 13-16).
The present drawing is the second of the series and shows the Doge and two near relatives being carried in the Pozzo (a processional chair resembling a well-head). This is carried on the shoulders of a number of men around St Mark's Square. The crowd press forward to gather the gold and silver coins distributed by the Doge. Officers with staves clear the way.
Lit: C. Dodgson, "Country Life", 7 October 1922, p. 449; D. Hadeln, 'The Drawings of Antonio Canal called Canaletto', London, 1929, p. 6 (as Canaletto school copy); Exhib. cat., London, BM, 'Canaletto and English Draughtsmen', 1953, no. 2; W.G. Constable, 'Canaletto', Oxford, 1962, II, no. 631 (ditto 2nd edition revised by J.G. Links, 1976); A. Bettagno, in exhib. cat., Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 'Canaletto, disegni-dipinti-incisioni', 1982, no. 65; M. Azzi Visentini, in exhib. cat., Berne, Musée d'histoire de Berne, 'Emblèmes de la liberté, l'image de la républiques dans l'art du XVIe au XXe siècle', 1991, no. 131
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1982 Jul-Oct, S Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 'Canaletto', no. 65
1991 May-Sep, Historical Museum, Berne, "Emblems of Liberty", no. 131
2019 23 Feb-9 Jun, Italy, Venice, Palazzo Ducale, Canaletto, Tieppolo e il Settecento veneziona,
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Coronation of the Doge
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The drawing was sold in the Stourhead Heirlooms sale, Christie's, 2.vi.1883/27 bt Agnew
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number