The rooms intended for private life, are about twenty and developed, at least until the seventeenth century, in the mezzanines above and below the main floor. The fundamental nucleus of the apartment was therefore a certain prestigious dwelling, but not too extensive.
Far from rare, then, was that a doge before the election had been able to dispose in his home of agi, environments and services superior to those that the Republic reserved for him, as if to emphasize that he was yes the symbol of the State, but also and above all his first servant.
Furniture and objects were brought from the old house and the heirs would promptly remove them upon the doge’s death, to make room for his successor’s furnishings. The representative rooms of the apartment are now equipped with panels and technological systems that, while allowing to appreciate the rich original decorative equipment, allow a dynamic exhibition use.
It was therefore possible to set up a path dedicated to the historical and iconographic evolution of the doge figure and the main symbolic representations of the city, thanks to a series of works from the vast collections of the Civic Museums of Venice: paintings, sculptures, illuminated codices, coins, medals – some restored for the occasion and never exhibited before. A path that allows the visitor to prepare to understand the vastness and richness of the iconographic apparatuses of the great institutional rooms of the palace, in which these symbols return and continuously.
The Rooms of the Apartment
The hall, once used as an anteroom for ducal councillors, is perhaps named after the color of their togas. Of the ancient furniture preserves the carved ceiling, probably designed and executed by Biagio and Pietro da Faenza, on which stands the coat of arms of Andrea Gritti (doge from 1523 to 1538).
The fireplace, characterized by a beautiful ornamentation with cornucopie, acanthus leaves, volutes, putti heads, is the work of the very first ‘500 of the workshop of Antonio and Tullio Lombardo. The coat of arms on the hood is barbarigo (doges from 1485 to 1501). Also attributable to the Lombard context is the marble relief above the front door, with Leonardo Loredan (doge from 1501 to 1521) in devotional attitude.
The name of the hall derives from the use of exhibiting the coat of arms (shield) of the doge in charge, which here granted audience and received guests. The sign on display is that of Ludovico Manin, last doge of the Republic before the fall in 1797. The large decoration with maps reproduces possessions of the Republic, or distant regions explored by Venetians. The original version of the maps covering the two main walls dates back to the sixteenth century.
They were then remade in 1762 by the cartographer and polygrapher Francesco Grisellini, who, commissioned by the doge-literate Marco Foscarini, added other paintings with a description of the travels of the most famous Venetian explorers: Nicolò and Antonio Zen, who went as far as Greenland; Pietro Querini, shipwrecked on the Norwegian fjords; Alvise da Mosto, discoverer of the Cape Verdean islands. At the same time also belong the two large rotating globes in the center of the hall, representing respectively the celestial sphere and the surface of the Earth. Grimani Hall. The carved ceiling of this room dates back to the Barbarigo slats (1485/1501), but the coat of arms applied in the center at the end of the sixteenth century is that of the Grimani, from whom the room takes its name and which gave three doges to the Republic.
The fireplace is remarkable, attributable to the Lombard workshop, decorated with the Barbarigo coat of arms and characterized by the elegant ornamental band with the Marcian lion surrounded by deities and marine figures, while the stucco above the tassel dates back to the dogado of Pasquale Cicogna (1585-1595). The frieze under the ceiling, executed at the end of the 1500s, during the dogado of Marino Grimani represents allegorical figures, several personifications including that of Venice and the evangelist Marco with the lion.
The hall is named after Francesco Erizzo, doge from 1631 to 1646. As in the other rooms, the gilded carved ceiling on a blue background and the Lombard fireplace date back to the end of the fifteenth century. The Erizzo coat of arms between Venus and Vulcan surmounting the hood is later. Along the walls a frieze with putti and symbols of war alludes to the feats of doge Erizzo, who has reached the top of the state thanks above all to military benemerence. Stucco Room. The stucco work of the barrel vault punctuated by lunettes dates back to the dogado of Marino Grimani (1595-1605), while it is the doge Antonio Priuli (1617-1623) who decorates the fireplace, surmounted by allegorical figures. Another Grimani, Peter (1741-1752) orders stucco decorations on the walls, also creating frames for the paintings on display here since then, illustrating various Episodes of the Life of Christ, and a Portrait of the King of France Henry III, perhaps at the hands of Jacopo Tintoretto, to whom Venice reserved a spectacular welcome in 1574 as he travelled from Poland to France to succeed to the throne vacated by his brother Charles IX. Following the two fires of palazzo Ducale in the second half of the sixteenth century, it was necessary to provide for the restoration and new decoration of the rooms, the one that we can still admire today.
He was doge in that 1577 Sebastiano Venier, elected for war merits: a few years earlier, in 1571, he had in fact led the Venetian fleet in the victorious battle of Lepanto against the Turks. Philosophers’ Room. The hall takes its name from twelve images of ancient philosophers who had been settled there in the 18th century, then replaced by allegories and portraits of doges. Giving your back to the Shield Hall, on the wall on the left, you can see a small door that enters an internal staircase through which the Doge could quickly reach from his apartments the rooms on the upper floor where the Senate and the College met. Vault Room.
Probably used for private functions, this room is one of the few without a fireplace or other original decorations. In the 17th century, the doge’s apartment was enlarged, opening from the Sala degli Stucchi a long hanging corridor connecting (demolished in the 19th century) with the nearby Rectory of San Marco (now home to the Palace of the Patriarch of Venice). There was a large banquet hall and a series of rooms for the doge, his family and servants. Audience Room. The hall has perhaps been identified as one of three dedicated in this area of the Palace to hearings.
Notable are the fireplace, in Carrara marble, carved with winged putti on dolphins and lion marching in the center, and the wooden frieze carved under the ceiling, both dating back to the late fifteenth century. The stories and vestiges on display here now accompany us towards the last centuries of the Republic. Anti-Hearing Room. Even of this room is not certain the peculiar function and certainly changed many times destination. Of the original furniture remains the splendid fireplace. Squire Room. This was, originally, the room from which the doge’s apartment was accessed. Here they stationed his squires, appointed for life directly by the doge and of which eight were always to be at his disposal. The hall lacks the original decoration and its greatest value is given by the two monumental portals (late fifteenth century) that they enter to the Hall of the Shield and the Golden Staircase.
TICKET THE MUSEUMS OF ST. MARK’S SQUARE
BUY ONLINE the entrance ticket to Palazzo Ducale and the integrated route of St. Mark’s Square: CLICK HERE
A single ticket valid for: Doge’s Palace, Correr Museum, National Archaeological Museum, Monumental Rooms of the Marciana National Library.
The ticket is valid for 3 months and allows only one entrance to the Doge’s Palace and the integrated route.
Full ticket: 25.00 euros
Reduced ticket: 13.00 euros Children from 6 to 14 years; students aged 15 to 25; escorts (max. 2) groups of at least 15 children or students; over 65 years; staff of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBACT); Rolling Venice Card Holders; F. membersA.The.
Free entry: Residents and born in the Municipality of Venice; Member States I.C.Or.M.; children from 0 to 5 years; disabled person with accompanying person; tour guides** enabled by the province of Venice and tourist interpreters accompanying groups or individual visitors; for each group of at least 15 people, 1 free admission (with reservation only); teachers accompanying school groups, up to a maximum of 2 per group; volunteers of the Civil Service; ordinary MUVE partners; MUVE Friend Card holders, owners of The Cultivist card (plus three escorts).
Family offer: reduced ticket for all members, for families consisting of two adults and at least one boy (from 6 to 14 years old).
School Offer: 5.50 euros per person (valid in the period 1 September – 15 March) for classes of students of all levels, accompanied by their teachers, with a list of names compiled by the institute to which they belong.
Audio guide (can only be purchased at the ticket office): 5 euros (for 1 person), 8 euros (for 2 people).
Piazzetta San Marco
1Opened every day from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm (last admission at 5.00 pm)- Closed 1/1 and 25/12
Tel. 041 271 59 11
Linee Actv 1 -2-5.1-5.2 – S. Marco / S. Zaccaria