Follower of Canaletto
A Newly Elected Doge Presented to the People of Venice in the Piazza San Marco
Oil on canvas
25 3/4 x 34 3/4 inches (65.5 x 88 cm)
Beginning in the late 15th century, it was the custom for a newly elected Doge of Venice to be installed in office in the Basilica of San Marco, after which he would be carried, along with members of his family and the Admiral of the Arsenal, around the Piazza San Marco in a ceremonial chair known as the Pozzetto. During this procession, he and his companions threw gold and silver coins specially minted for the occasion to the crowd, which greeted this largess with such enthusiasm that a corps of baton-wielding men had to be stationed along the route to keep order. After the tour of the Piazza, the Doge was carried to the Giant's Staircase in the courtyard of the Ducal Palace, where he swore allegiance to the laws of Venice and received the ducal cap of office.
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