A giant 12-metre violin boat just sailed through the canals of Venice

20 September 2021, 12:16

By Kyle Macdonald

The timeless design of a violin becomes a 12-metre virtuosic vessel, thanks to this inspired sculptor.

If you’re sitting by the waterways of Venice this autumn, and see a massive violin sailing by, you may well think you’ve had one too many aperol spritz. But fear not, it’s all part of a new work of art.

The floating fiddle is the brainchild of Venetian artist and sculptor Livio De Marchi, who for decades has created floating works for Italy’s canaled cultural centre.

Read more: This Luthier paints masterpieces of art onto his violins and they’re so beautiful

Many months in the making, the gargantuan instrument has just been launched for the first time. It measures 12 metres in length, with a width of 4 metres. De Marchi describes it as ‘Noah’s Violin.’

Violin-shaped boat parades near the Accademia Bridge in Venice, Italy.
Violin-shaped boat parades near the Accademia Bridge in Venice, Italy. Picture: Getty

The project is being supported by the Venice Development Consortium, who clearly want to celebrate their city’s historic connection to music, and create a highly instgrammable moment while doing so.

Musicians play on board a violin-shaped boat in Venice, Italy
Musicians play on board a violin-shaped boat in Venice, Italy. Picture: Getty

The violin boat was formally launched in September and has been spotted sailing around Venice.

Artist Livio De Marchi poses next to his latest creation
Artist Livio De Marchi poses next to his latest creation. Picture: Getty

In his artistic career, De Marchi worked first in marble, then bronze, and most recently in wood. He has completed a number of what he calls Giant Works, each with a touch of the ironic and bizarre. Floating in water is a definite theme (he’s in Venice, after all) in his floating cars, ‘paper’ cranes, and a giant boat in the form of shoe.

His latest keeps up the playful juxtaposition between objects and the canal water. And we have to say, we love it.