The Quarantia (Council of Forty) was the highest appeal court of the Venetian Republic. After having been introduced in the outgoing 12th century, the juridical body was divided into three separate councils: The Quarantia Criminal (for criminal offences), the Quarantia Civil Nuova (offshore civil cases) and the Quarantia Civil Vecchia (civil cases within the city of Venice).
by Mario de Baseggio, Zurich, Switzerland
The Quarantia Civil Vecchia is included in the itinerary (Room #25) when visiting the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace). The walls are decorated with large format 17th century oil paintings by Andrea Celesti and a central panel displays "The Last Senate of the Republic of Venice" by Vittorio Bressanin.
On the wall behind Bressanin's panel one can spot two paintings of coat of arms in a painted faux stone frame. The artist is unknown, the works were produced in the 18th century. The one to the right is particularly interesting, as it contains our Golden Bones coat of arms.
The Baseggio family has contributed members to the council throughout the centuries, including notable individuals such as the three brothers Iseppo, Giovanni Battista, and Giovanni Basegio, who were elected in 1702, 1716, and 1715 respectively.
Our Golden Bones are flanked by the Moro family's blackberries to the left and the Barbarani family's black lion to the right.
Other known families displayed in the same frame are
- the Bembo (top row, 3rd from the left)
- the Girardini (top row, left)
- the Minio (4th row, left)
- the Minotto (4th row, 2nd from the left)
- the Da Mosto (4th row, right)
- the Tiepolo (2nd row, center)
- the Trivisani (top row, 2nd from the left)