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Venice 2014


Venetian portraiture of the Doges of the 16th century was meant to commemorate the accomplishments not only of the Doges, but of Venice as a Republic, with its power, grandeur and glory. With the initial precedent of Italian portraiture of the nobility set by Florence, Venetian artists such as Titian and Tintoretto were influenced by this style, yet produced something truly Venetian. These portraits of the Venetian Doges are characterized by their striking naturalism, color and variety of expressions. From the passive profile of Bellini’s Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan to the stern, authoritative glare of Titian’s Portrait of Doge Andrea Gritti, these portraits commemorate the roles that the Doges have played throughout the history of Venice. Marked by war, conquest and power, the reigns of the Doges of the 16th century are represented in their portraits. Compared to 16th century Florentine portraiture of the Florentine nobility, such as the portraits of the Medici by Bronzino, the Venetian portraits of the Doges are more expressive and imperial. Venice was never a city to follow precedent; they established their own individual identity as well as a style of portraiture that reflected their pride and power.