Most of the pictures in this room are Venetian. During the 18th century, the Venetian republic underwent a second renaissance, when artists such as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Sebastiano Ricci returned to the bright colours and theatrical compositions of the 16th century.
Strong demand for church altarpieces and the decoration of palace ceilings resulted in a thriving artistic scene. Artists were employed by the nobility to produce paintings that glorified their ancestry. Religious paintings – in the form of heavenly visions – were commissioned for churches adopting a theatrical style, so that the viewer is transported visually into the realm of God.
It was customary for artists to prepare oil sketches, known as modelli, for presentation to their patrons before they started work on full-scale paintings. These modelli quickly became collectable items, recording in miniature the great altarpieces and ceilings that can still be admired in Venice today.