In front of the entrance stands the most important façade dominated by the Giants’ staircase. Antonio Rizzo’s imagination provided it with a special variety of solutions for the various levels and windows. He was a master of the Renaissance but, at the same time, he was always respectful and obsequious of the Gothic style, which had been dominant in the Doge’s palace until then. In 1485 the Great Council came up with the decision to build the staircase at the end of the re-building works, which were started after the1483 fire that destroyed almost completely the area reserved for the Doge’s living quarters. In addition a building site was started that, within a century or so of work, provided the palace with its present look. In this context the project of moving the Doge’s crowning ceremony from the interior to this area, which was both open and public as well as immediately visible from the entrance was also pursued. The Doge made the ‘Promissione Ducale’ (the Doge’s pledge) and received the famous horn-shaped hat together with an array of symbolic objects. The staircase was made at the end of the 15th century and on a project by Antonio Rizzo, sculptor and architect from Verona, who became Proto of the palace (i.e. architect-in-chief) exactly in 1483. It looks covered with bas-reliefs, which differ from one another for each step, and for the whole length of the handrail. The staircase was immediately called ‘of the Giants’ for the presence of the monumental sculptures of Mars and Neptune that stand at its sides. They were made by Jacopo Sansovino round 1550 and show Venice’ s military might as well as commercial power that extend without distinction by land and by sea. The absolute protagonists of the Renaissance season of the palace were both for architecture and sculpture Antonio Rizzo (who later fled from Venice for legal reasons at the end of the century) and Giorgio Spavento (his collaborator and then successor). For what concerns the painted decorations, the best Venetian painters belonging to the last quarter of the XVI century (the likes of Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese) competed against each other in decorating the renovated huge halls. They worked together with many more artists coming from other cities and areas drawn to Venice by her dazzling patronage system as well as all committed to building the new triumphant look of the palace.