Some lions of Venice



Filed under Lions, Venice

12 responses to “Some lions of Venice

  1. Great topic! Here is one on Venitian lion’s mouth!

    Hanging in almost every corner of Venice, the beautiful sculptures of the winged lion represent the symbol of this city and of the land conquered during its vast dominium and ancient Republic.
    Other than decorating the city or showcasing the conquered places, some lions such as the lions’ mouth of truth had curious and less ornamental purposes.

    Still visible in Venice and crafted as white marble bas-reliefs, these mouths of truth were depicting the head of a lion or sometimes, an elaborate facial expression.
    In place of the mouth, there was a hole to insert the sheets of paper with the secret complaints of the Venetians.
    The complaints could relate to several types of crimes including blasphemy and tax evasion.
    Due to their huge popularity, the Lions’ mouths of truth were located near the hospitals, on the facades of churches, near the houses of judges but also in St. Marks’ square, Palazzo Ducale.
    The charges could not be anonymous and had to cite at least two witnesses, otherwise the accusers were burned by the judges.

    The most dangerous secret complaints were those that were made on charges of treason and conspiracy against the State. It seems that the first Lions’ mouths of truth were introduced after the attempted coup of Baiamonte Tiepolo in 1310.
    In this case, even without supporting witnesses, complaints were forwarded to the dreaded Council of Ten, who immediately investigated the suspects. Thus began the shadowing and often preventative imprisonment of the accused.
    The suspect could remain for weeks or months in chains, awaiting trial.
    Through the years, Venetians have been replicating sculptures of lions and there are still a few companies in Venice, such as Ithaca Art who continues to replicate by carefully following the ancient techniques.

    If you want to know more about Venetian Lions or add a Venetian touch to your home and garden then you can buy a bas-relief wall art sculpture replica from Ithaca Art at
    Want to know more about Venetian lions? Visit

    ABOUT ITHACA ART: Ithaca Art is one the leading sources of museum-quality reproductions. With a new website launched last month, Ithaca Art’s artists are trained in art history and classic craftsmanship.
    Each piece of art is handmade using the same ancient techniques and materials as the originals. Ithaca’s wall art sculptures include bas-reliefs, plaques, fragments, masks and oil lamps. Museum gift shops throughout Europe fill their shelves with the quality works of Ithaca.
    You will also find the Ithaca brand in stores in Venice, Paris, Rome, London and now online.


  2. You can just see it wearing a little hairnet at night, over that moustache. What I especially like about the lions in Venice is that they are such are disparate lot, showing such a range of personality.


  3. Andrew

    I like the first one’s ‘Hercule Poirot’ moustache. Very dapper!


  4. When I get my desktop back from her holiday with ‘her boys’, I must do a cat post. 🙂


  5. Beautiful to see kitty cats of all sizes in Venice!


  6. He’s a beauty, isn’t he?


  7. djones47

    I like the second one. He looks very majestic.


  8. I love the huge one by the entry to Arsenale; it’s very cute!


  9. Michelle Vaden

    I love the lions in Venice. I’ve even found some friendly looking ones…not quite so gruff. But I love them all.
    Grazie for continuing to share pictures from Venice.


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