(b. 1472, Venezia, d. 1526, Capodistria)

Arrival of the English Ambassadors (detail)

Tempera on canvas
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

By combining the geometrical rigor of Renaissance perspective with his own supremely imaginative conceptions, Carpaccio has constructed a scene rich in architectural splendours and colours. The English ambassadors are delivering a letter which requests the hand of Princess Ursula in marriage to the crown prince of England. On the right of the painting, Ursula informs her father of her conditions for accepting the marriage. Her old nurse, seated at the foot of the stairs, seems to have a presentiment about Ursula's impending martyrdom. This painting, too, contains much valuable documentary evidence of the times.