It was a classic this-is-the-house-that-Jack-built moment as we stood on the platform of Mejiro metro station and saw across the lines a billboard featuring the Bellini portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan. This was the guy who lived in the Palazzo Loredan dell'Ambasciatore that is owned by Filippo Gagia who rented the ground floor to CNZ so that Michael Parekowhai could show his work in the Venice Biennale. Same hat, same white cloak with snail buttons.
But hang on, what about that double chin? Turns out it’s another Doge altogether, an earlier Doge, Doge Giovanni Mocenigo to be precise. Damn. Then to add to (or rather subtract from) our spooky Tokyo coincidence, it turns out it wasn’t even painted by the right Bellini (or, blush, even in the same century) but by Gentile, the famous Bellini’s brother. Still, for a moment there...
You can see the Giovanni Bellini portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan here.
Image: Tokyo billboard featuring Gentile Bellini’s portrait of Doge Giovanni Mocenigo