(b. 1548, Venezia, d. 1628, Venezia)

Venice Crowned by Victory

Oil on canvas
Palazzo Ducale, Venice

The present decoration of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio (Hall of the Great Council) in the Palazzo Ducale was realized after the disastrous fire of 1577 during which all the structures of the ship's-keel Gothic ceiling and the wall-paintings were destroyed. An immense flat ceiling, in accordance with the taste of the end of the century, was constructed with gilded cornices sculpted in high-relief, which framed a series of paintings. The canvases were dedicated, thematically, to the Glorification of Venice, in remembrance of the numerous military undertakings in the East or on the mainland by the Venetian ground troops. On the ceiling great importance was given to the victories of the Venetian army in conquering the mainland; along the wall to the dispute between Alexander III and Frederick Barbarossa, who reached an agreement in Venice with the political mediation of Doge Sebastiano Ziani; and to the events of the Fourth Crusade, led by Doge Enrico Dandolo in the early years of the 13th century.

This painting is one of the large central canvases on the ceiling of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio. Referring Venice's territorial conquests, it portrays Venice Supreme, crowned by Victory, welcomes her subject provinces. The other large oval painting, near the throne, entitled Apotheosis of Venice, was painted by Veronese.