(active 1421-1464 in Venice)
Porta della Carta1438-42
Istrian stone, marble, gilding and paint
Palazzo Ducale, Venice
The Porta della Carta is the grand entrance to the Palazzo Ducale made under Doge Foscari. It was begun by the stonemasons Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon in 1438. By this time Giovanni was rather old, and the fact that his son Bartolomeo signed the portal "OPs BARTOLOMEI" (the work of Bartolomeo) implies that the younger man was not only the chief mason but also the designer.
The Porta has a simple and effective iconographic program, with the statue of Justice at the apex. Four other virtues - Fortitude, Temperance, Charity, and Prudence - occupy the niches at either side, a bust of St Mark occupies the roundel in the tympanum, and a portrait of Doge Foscari, removed in the Napoleonic period and now replaced by a replica, kneels before the lion of St Mark over the door. The window traceries are as ornate as any to be seen in Venice.