The Hall of the Greater Council of Venice

  • D. S. Chambers
Part of the History in Depth book series (HD)


The Hall of the Greater Council in the Doge’s Palace, where hundreds of Venetian patricians assembled for formal debates on legislation and the complicated elections of one another to innumerable offices of state, was the constitutional heart of the Republic. The interior decoration of this fourteenth-century Hall proceeded slowly. A start had been made with Guariento’s great ‘Paradise’ behind the tribune, and in the 1420s a series was begun of paintings to illustrate historical achievements of Venice, dating in particular from the famous arbitration between Pope and Emperor in 1177; there were also to be portraits of every Doge. The original narrative paintings by Gentile da Fabriano and Pisanello soon deteriorated, and the documents below refer to the replacements for them and continuation of the scheme. The payment was met by funds raised from the Salt Office and the German warehouse or merchant association (Fondaco dei Tedeschi), but it had to be approved at all levels of government.


Formal Debate Verbal Agreement Wall Decoration Italian Text Interior Decoration 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1970

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  • D. S. Chambers

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