Key Ideas about this Work of Art
- This oil painting depicts an outdoor scene on the bank of Venice’s Grand Canal. The woman sitting in the carriage represents the city of Venice. Batoni used personification to represent the city as a human being.
- Batoni included figures from Roman mythology to celebrate Venetian art. An example is the depiction of Minerva, who stands to the left of Venice. Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom, art, schools, war, trade, and justice.
- Neoclassicism was a cultural movement in the 18th and 19th centuries. Art and architecture inspired by ancient Greece and Rome became popular during this time period.
- The Grand Tour was considered a rite of passage for wealthy young men in the 18th century. During their tour, the men studied ruins, cities, landscapes, and artworks throughout Europe. The city of Venice was a common stop on the Grand Tour because many classical buildings and artworks are located there.
- This painting celebrates the progress made in art in early 16th-century Venice. The work features a former governor of Venice named Lionardo Loredan. Many famous artworks from Venice were produced during his reign. These works of art gained popularity in the 18th century.
Commissioned by a Venetian ambassador to Rome, this painting celebrates Venice’s place in European history at a time when it was an essential stop on the grand tour. A female personification of Venice is enthroned at the center.
Standing to her left is Doge Lionardo Loredan—governor during Venice’s artistic flourishing in the 1500s—and to her right Minerva, patron of the arts, presents putti carrying symbols of architecture, music, drama, painting, sculpture, and poetry. Above Venice are figures of Fame and double-faced History. History’s older face looks back to Venice’s glorious past while her younger aspect contemplates its glorious present.
Resources for Teachers
- Read an essay about the Grand Tour.
- Explore a website that features Venice as a stop on the Grand Tour.
- Read an essay about neoclassicism.
- Review a lesson plan for ideas on teaching students to use personification in their art.
Resources for Students