Otto was the son of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and, according to the Venetian legend, had persuaded his father to accept the doges
offer to make his peace with Pope Alexander III, a Venetian ally, in 1177.
The Likeness of Venice: A Life of Doge
Francesco Foscari, 1373-1457.
This concern with the problematic nature of the body in the Venetian tragedies is signaled by the physical frailty of their almost identical protagonists, two octogenarian Doges
who struggle to transcend their physical bodies.
Dogaresse were remembered primarily in the works of later writers who drew on legends that had grown especially around two disgraced doges
, Marino Falier (1354-55) and Francesco Foscari (1423-55).
I would take the story further and add a further motive for the placing of the horses on the loggia and that is the deliberate use by the doges
of St Mark's Square as a ceremonial hippodrome on the Byzantine model.
When the Doge
of the day got the decorators in, he made Derry Irvine look like a DIY amateur.
(Equating culture with civic honor, also claimed by Lorenzo de' Medici for Florence, is a fundamental Renaissance idea.) And it is no accident that Titian or Veronese are more famous today than all the Doges
of Venice, because the ethos of Venice as realized in their very achievement, whatever the subject matter of particular paintings, stil l lives, long after the Venetian empire, its merchants and navies, have melted into oblivion.
In accordance with the imperial title assumed by doges
after the conquest of Constantinople in 1204 -- "Doge
of Venice...and Lord of a quarter and a half of the Roman empire" -- Tiepolo's sarcophagus presents him as the "ruler of Romania" by employing imperial Byzantine motifs.
The two theaters, as we know particularly from Mangini's work, belonged to Ettore Tron and to Alvise Michiel, members of patrician families that had both produced doges
, although the Tron were relative latecomers to such an honored state.
The church used by the nuns, called now the chapel of San Tarasio, abutts onto a southern section of the choir in the main church, and it is above the tenth-century crypt that is the burial place of eight early doges
. In the vault of the chapel are some early frescoes by Andrea Castagno from 1442  and three wonderful composite altarpieces (ancone) by Antonio Vivarini and Giovanni d'Alemagna, individually commissioned by two nuns, the prioress and abbess (all named) in 1443.
What had stood for 760 years has now been taken from them, when they had spent 46,000 ducats on the church, the convent and the magnificent refectory."  A centuries-old, symbiotic relationship between the nuns and their numerous friends in high places -- doges
, emperors, popes, Venetian senators, wealthy ecclesiastics, and devout laypersons -- had been summarily dismissed.
In the eyes of the doge
, the great virtue of the duke was that he could be counted on not to be another Alviano.