With an escort of gondolas and the music of Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, a gigantic violin surprised everyone in the city of Venice over the weekend of September 18th and 19th, when the violin sailed along the Grand Canal. “Noah’s violin” is the result of hard work by artists, craftsmen and nautical specialists. In clear allusion to the biblical ark, the violin-shaped boat is a replica of a real instrument made of different types of wood.
The artist Livio De Marchi realized this project with the help of craftsmen and the Consorzio Venezia Sviluppo, which financed the replica of the floating violin. Commanded by a captain in a black cape and three-cornered hat, the violin – 12 meters in length – pays homage to the victims of the Covid-19. “The violin is a sign that Venice is restarting,” De Marchi said during an interview with the New York Times.
As a Venetian and a musician, it was the most moving experience of my lifeTiziana Gasparoni, cellist on board
Noah’s violin sailed along the Grand Canal of Venice, which has an “S” shape and is four kilometers long and crosses the entire city. A chamber ensemble performed a Venetian repertoire as the violin navigated in peace. The ensemble also played music by Bach, Schubert and Beethoven.
“It was a novelty for us too,” acknowledged Michele Pitteri, a member of Consorzio Venezia Sviluppo, who financed the boat and built it together with Livio De Marchi. Pitteri said that the idea came up during the coronavirus quarantine in 2020.
A beautiful initiative, symbol of Venice’s unbreakable bond with music and art, which is also environmentally friendly. Noah’s violin is equipped with an electric motorMichele Pitteri, member of Consorzio Venezia Sviluppo
Built by local craftsmen, the violin sent signals for hope and creative revival for Venetians. According to Travel + Leisure, the journey ended at the church of La Salute, a statue built as an offering to the Virgin Mary for delivering the city from a plague that afflicted the city in 1630.
This is not the first time that De Marchi, known as “the carpenter of Venice,” has sculpted a domestic object to create large-scale floating works. He started with an origami-style paper hat made of wood, in 1985, and has since launched a woman’s shoe, a pumpkin car with horses and a variety of cars, including a 1937 Jaguar, a Volkswagen Beetle and a Ferrari convertible, into the sea.