Hidden treasures

The Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto in the Doge's Palace in Venice

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The Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto in the Doge's Palace in Venice

One of the most beautiful rooms of the Doge's Palace in Venice, the Council Hall, where the Doge received ambassadors and foreign dignitaries, boasts one of the most beautiful paintings of Paolo Veronese (1528- 1588): The Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto (7 October 1571).

This battle took place in Greece (near the Gulf of Corinth), and marked the revenge of the Christian armies over the Turks, after more than a century of continuous defeats.

The victory had great resonance in Venice, since it followed the terrible defeat of Cyprus a few months before, during which the Venetians besieged by the Turks, were all killed and the island was passed to the Ottoman Empire.

For this reason all the great Venetian artists celebrated the victory, like Paolo Veronese, who was called to decorate one of the most important rooms of the Doge's Palace.

At the centre of the painting, the Doge Sebastiano Venier seen kneeling, is thanking Jesus Christ who blesses him, flanked by St Mark (the patron saint of Venice) and Santa Giustina (celebrated on October 7); behind the Doge you can see the commander Agostino Barbarigo, who died heroically in the battle.

There are also two other female figures on the right side,  a girl richly dressed as an allegorical representation of Venice, holding the Doge's horn to mean that the power of the Doge comes from the city and the people, and on the left a figure dressed white holding a chalice, the personification of the Faith, since it was a holy war against the infidels.

Book our private guided tour of the Doge's Palace and Francesca, the author of this fascinating column and a licensed guide in Venice, will accompany you to discover the many treasures held in the ancient palace of the Doges of Venice full of art, history and legends ... simply ask for her availability!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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