ROBUSTI, Domenico
(b. 1560, Venezia, d. 1635, Venezia)

Battle of Salvore

c. 1605
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.

Domenico Robusti's Battle of Salvore belongs to the series on the wall depicting scenes related to the dispute between Alexander III and Frederick Barbarossa. It depicts an imaginary episode of the struggle between Pope Alexander III and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa for the investiture: the battle would have taken place between the victorious Venetian and the Imperial fleets. In reality the two personages met in Venice, under the auspices of Doge Ziani, to discuss peace.

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