Built between 1537 and 1554 to designs by Jacopo Sansovino, the Biblioteca Marciana was intended to house the rich collection of books and manuscripts which had been left to the Republic by Cardinal Giovanni Bessarion. A place of study for the intellectual elite of the city, it was part of that redevelopment of the St. Mark’s area desired by doge Andrea Gritti, who wished to underline the status of this centre of political and religious power. For the Main Hall – also known as Sala d’Oro – the Venetian government would, in 1556, commission three tondi each from seven different artists, the twenty-one works to be enclosed within the elaborate carved and gilded ceiling designed by Sansovino himself. Like Veronese, most of the artists chosen were young men whose work reflected the influence of Mannerism. All the tondi were completed by 10 February 1557, and those by Veronese make up the sixth row in the ceiling. They depict: Honour, a enthroned male figure being adored by the Virtues; Astronomy and Harmony Driving Away Falsehood (another reading has the main figures as Arithmetic and Geometry), in which three young women are shown raised upon a complex architectural structure; and Music, in which beautiful young women play string instruments and the figure of Cupid is shown under a marble statue of a fawn (the association of Love and Music was part of sixteenth-century literary tradition). In these works Veronese made full use of the experience he had acquired when working on the ceilings of the Council of Ten rooms in the Doge’s Palace. Colours are even more vivid, with the effects of light being exploited in order to prevent the paintings being overwhelmed by the gilding of the frames. A clear gesture of homage to Titian, the rich palette one sees in these paintings heralds that “classicism of colour” which would be such a feature of Veronese’s work in the years to come. Later – probably around 1560 – Veronese would also work on the decoration of the walls in this Hall, producing two of the figures of Philosophers shown within painted niches: the Aristotle and Plato flanking the entrance (the latter figure is the one shown bareheaded). In their garments of vivid colours – amongst which red predominates – the two imposing figures stand within their classical-style aedicules like works of sculpture. Comparison with the two figures by Tintoretto in the same room reveal the enormous differences in palette and the handling of colour which existed between the two main exponents of Venetian Mannerism.