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CANALETTO Bucentoro Bucintoro Venice 3 Oz Silver Coin 20$ Cook Islands 2011


A numismatic masterpiece, made of 3 oz of pure silver 999 with 16 authentic swarovski crystals inlaid in this 55 mm coin, issued by Cook Islands.

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The bucentaur (bucintoro in Venetian) was the state galley of the doges of Venice. It was used every year on Ascension Day up to 1798 to take the doge out to the Adriatic Sea to perform the ceremony of wedding Venice to the sea.

Scholars believe there were four major barges, the first significant bucentaur having been built in 1311. The last and most magnificent of the historic bucentaurs made its maiden voyage in 1729 in the reign of Doge Alvise III Sebastiano Mocenigo. Depicted in paintings by Canaletto and Francesco Guardi, the ship was 35 m (115 ft) long and more than 8 metres (26 ft) high. A two-deck floating palace, its main salon had a seating capacity of 90. The doge's throne was in the stern, and the prow bore a figurehead representing Justice with sword and scales. The barge was propelled by 168 oarsmen, and another 40 sailors were required to man it. The ship was destroyed in 1798 on Napoleon's orders to symbolize his victory in conquering Venice.

In February 2008, the Fondazione Bucintoro announced a €20 million project to rebuild the 1729 bucentaur. Work started on 15 March 2008 at the Arsenale shipyard and naval dock.

He was born in Venice as the son of the painter Bernardo Canal, hence his mononym Canaletto ("little Canal"), and Artemisia Barbieri. His nephew and pupil Bernardo Bellotto was also an accomplished landscape painter, with a similar painting style, and sometimes used the name "Canaletto" to advance his own career, particularly in countries—Germany and Poland—where his uncle was not active.

Canaletto served his apprenticeship with his father and his brother. He began in his father's occupation, that of a theatrical scene painter. Canaletto was inspired by the Roman vedutista Giovanni Paolo Pannini, and started painting the daily life of the city and its people.

After returning from Rome in 1719, he began painting in his famous topographical style. His first known signed and dated work is Architectural Capriccio (1723, Milan). Studying with the older Luca Carlevarijs, a moderately-talented painter of urban cityscapes, he rapidly became his master's equal.

In 1725, the painter Alessandro Marchesini, who was also the buyer for the Lucchese art collector Stefano Conti had inquired about buying two more 'views of Venice', when the agent informed him to consider instead the work of "Antonio Canale... it is like Carlevaris, but you can see the sun shining in it."

  • CountryCook Islands
  • Year2011
  • Face Value20 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)999/1000
  • Weight (g)93.3 (3 oz)
  • Diameter (mm)55
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)1.732
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes
This coin depicts "The return of the Bucintoro", a masterpiece of Italian painter "Canaletto". The Bucintoro was the golden barge that 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. The reverse depicts Queen Elizabeth II profile.