The Porta della Carta, Doge's Palace, Venice, ItalyArtist:
John Wharlton Bunney
, British, 1828 - 1882
Material and Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Image size: 500 x 370mm
Frame: 706 x 573 x 70mm
Accession Number: CGSG04010
The Porta della Carta is the main gateway into the Doge's Palace in Venice. The gateway was built to make a direct link between the Palace and the Basilica of San Marco so that the Doge, ruler of both the Venetian empire and the official figurehead of the Basilica could move between the buildings privately. The name 'Porta della Carta' which translates as 'Documents gate' also indicates that petitioners, or people wishing to make requests to Venice's council would have handed over their papers here. New laws were passed out from the columns seen in the painting to the far left.
This painting is not part of Ruskin's original collection, but was bought by the Guild of St George in 2010. Its first owner, Quincy Adams Shaw, an American financier who was travelling in Venice with his family commissioned the painting from Bunney in 1876. It is one of four versions Bunney painted as high class souvenirs for travellers.