(b. 1518, Venezia, d. 1594, Venezia)

Conquest of Zara

Oil on canvas
Palazzo Ducale, Venice

The Sala dello Scrutinio (Voting Hall) is the second largest hall of the Doge's Palace. The balloting and secret votes of the magistracies and the doge took place in this hall with the very complicated systems that the Venetian Republic had created to avoid intrigues and subterfuge during the elections and, above all, to ensure that the vote could not be bought especially from the poor nobility in favour of its richer equivalent.

The iconographic theme of the hall of the Sala dello Scrutinio was inspired by the Venetian naval victories on the Eastern seas shown in the numerous ceiling canvases depicting virtues and symbolic figures. Tintoretto's Conquest of Zara is on the right wall upon entering, and it depicts an event of the Fourth Crusade. The Fourth Crusade was the first act of an expedition that aimed at conquering the Holy Land. It ended up subduing the revolt of Zara against Venice and taking over the city of Constantinople after a terrible and systematic pillage. Baldwin of Flanders was elected the new Christian emperor. The Venetian fleet was led by the old but still energetic doge, Enrico Dandolo. The event took place between 1202 and 1204.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.