Palazzo Ducale, Doge’s Palace at Venice

The head of state for the early Republic of Venice was the Doge. For over 1,100 years 120 Doge’s represented the Republic of Venice, their badge of office was the Doge’s cap, based on the Phyrgian fisherman’s hat, which rose to a point on a stiffened base and was sometimes set with gold and jewels. Doge Leonardo Loredan was depicted by Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini (1430 – 1516) wearing a gold brocade robe woven with a pomegranate pattern popular around the beginning of the sixteenth centuries. The Palazzo Ducale, or Doge’s Palace stands beside St. Mark’s Church. Venetian Gothic is characterized by the spontaneous imagination of the stone cutter. His love of naturalistic detail sanctified the work and projects his intention to reflect the perfection of God the Creator off the waters of the lagoon. This incredible building has features of mainstream Gothic such as the pointed arch, vaulting, windows and portals with details such as quatrefoils and trefoils. On the ground floor the vaults transmit the load to the great columns whereas the instability of the Venetian terrain did not permit an upper tier to be vaulted in stone. On the balcony level the columns are more closely spaced spreading the weight evenly. The Porta della Carta is the grand entrance designed after 1438 by Barolomeo Bon with the four virtues Temperance, Prudence, Charity and Fortitude flanking the entrance. The detail of the Archangel Gabriel is on the Northwest corner and is silhouetted against the rhythmic flow of its arches and roundels which contain quatrefoil decoration

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