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Door Knockers

North Italy (probably Venetian)

Early 17th century

Just as we treasure our homes today, families in Renaissance and Baroque Venice took pride in the facades of their palazzi. Whether approached from the land or the water, the facade offered a first impression of the family within. Elaborate bronze door knockers began to appear on palace doors in the sixteenth century. These sculptural enhancements provided yet another opportunity to impress. 


These door knockers were made for a set of monumental doors. The exceptionally high quality of the leaping lions emerging from fantastic leonine masks attest to the wealth and status of the unidentified patrons. Lions, the symbol of Venice, allude to the family’s loyalties and civic pride. This powerful work demonstrates the Venetian skill of uniting the utilitarian nature of an object with its aesthetic value.

  • Titles Door Knockers (Descriptive)
  • Medium bronze
  • Dimensions (each) 19 x 8 x 7 1/2 in. (48.3 x 20.3 x 19.1 cm)
  • Credit Line Museum purchase with funds provided by the 2005 Museum Dinner and Ball, 2005.9a-d
  • Work Type door knockers
  • Classification Sculpture