Angle of the Portico of the Ducal Palace, Venice - with carving of 'The Judgment of Solomon'
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Angle of the Portico of the Ducal Palace, Venice - with carving of 'The Judgment of Solomon' 1860s
The Palazzo Ducale, or Doge’s Palace, is one of Venice’s most striking buildings. Its famous façade of white limestone and pink marble, with its many arches and balconies, is a great example of Venetian architecture. The home of Venice’s chosen ruler, the Doge, it was also the centre for law and civil administration, and even contained the city prison. This unusual view shows the north-west corner of the building. The sculpture on the pedestal represents the Judgement of Solomon, a moral biblical scene about wisdom and justice. In his book ‘The Stones of Venice’, the nineteenth-century critic John Ruskin remarked that the choice of sculpture showed that ‘the principal element in the Renaissance spirit is the firm confidence in its own wisdom’.

Glossary Open

Façade

The external face of a building, usually referring to the most important, such as that facing the street or containing the main entrance.

Renaissance

A period in European culture from the 14th to the 16th centuries in which the visual arts flourished with advances in the treatment of anatomy and the use of perspective. It is particularly associated with Italy, where it began, though the term applies elsewhere. It is noted for a revival of interest in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome.

Façade, Renaissance

Details

  • Acc. No. PGP R 753
  • Medium Albumen
  • Size 35.00 x 28.00 cm
  • Credit Gift of Mrs. Riddell in memory of Peter Fletcher Riddell, 1985