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’.