Giant Violin Floats Along Venice’s Grand Canal to Celebrate the Rebirth of Art, Music, and Culture

Venetian artist Livio de Marchi has spent his life combining his woodworking skills with his imagination to create incredible sculptures. With Noah's Violin, he is marking life post-lockdown by creating a giant violin to float through the city's canals. Symbolizing the rebirth of art, music, and culture in a new era, the violin set sail along the Grand Canal with musicians aboard who performed Vivaldi.

The violin is nearly 40 feet long and 13 feet wide and is inspired by one of de Marchi's paintings. The artist worked with other local artisans, artists, and technicians to bring his vision to life. In the end, the group created a magnificent floating instrument that was able to support the weight of the performers who played music during a city-wide sailing parade.

After an initial test run in July, the official launch of Noah's Violin was a success. In bringing together a wide variety of creatives, the violin was able to unite the city in a time of crisis, and the floating concert was the grand finale that de Marchi envisioned.

Noah's Violin, even before being launched, had accomplished its goal, which was to set in motion a system that saw the union of art, craftsmanship, technique, and, finally, city institutions,” wrote de Marchi's gallery. This is not the first time that one of de Marchi's sculptures has taken to the waters of Venice. Since the late 1980s, he has created several floating sculptures, including some modeled after classic cars that have “driven” on water.

It's de Marchi's hope that Noah's Violin, which was built in pieces for easy transport and assembly, will be able to float along the waterways of different cities around the world. “It's called Noah's Violin,” the sculptor told a local newspaper, “because culture, art, and music can save the world by bringing a little piece of love everywhere.”

Venetian artist Livio de Marchi created a giant floating sculpture called Noah's Violin.

Giant Violin Sculpture by Livio de Marchi in Venice

The piece was inspired by one of de Marchi's paintings and is meant to symbolize a rebirth.

Livio de Marchi with His Painting of a Floating Violin

Painting of Floating Violin by Livio de Marchi

De Marchi worked with other local artisans and artists to bring his vision to life.

Livio de March Working on Giant Violin in His Studio

Livio de Marchi Working in His Studio

After an initial test in July, the violin set sail along the Grand Canal.

Giant Violin Sculpture by Livio de Marchi in Venice

Large Floating Violin in Venice

Violin di Noè in Venice being Installed

During the parade, a host of musicians aboard the violin played Vivaldi as a message of hope, after a long year of lockdowns.

Livio de Marchi Floating Violin in Venice

Violin Public Art Installation in Venice

Livio de Marchi: Website | Facebook

All images via Meiko Ban. My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Gallery Livio de Marchi.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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