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The Triumph of Venice

1737: North Carolina Museum of Art

This painting celebrates the rebirth of the fine arts in the Venetian Republic during the rule of Doge (Governor) Lionardo Loredan (1501-21). A female figure representing Venice is enthroned upon a triumphal car pulled by two winged lions, attributes of St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice. To her left, Doge Loredan gestures toward harvest offerings (symbolic of the agricultural wealth of the Venetian region) from the goddess Ceres, who reclines in the lower right corner. To Venice's right, the goddess Minerva, patroness of the fine arts, presents putti bearing attributes of architecture, music and drama, painting and sculpture, and poetry. Neptune, the mythological patron of the Venetian Republic, points out the city to Mars. Above Venice are the figures of Fame, with trumpet and laurel branch; double-faced History, her older face looking back to Venice's glorious past while her younger aspect contemplates the city's equally glorious present; and Mercury, who presents a history of the Republic's achievements to a group of ancient sages. In the background is a view of Venice's Molo, the waterfront area along the Grand Canal near St. Mark's Square and the Ducal Palace.
 
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