At this date Venice was under Austrian rule. The Austrian prefecture was housed in the ancient Palazzo Corner on the Canale Grande, opposite the Salute. The room is a mixture of earlier grandeur in the heavily draped beds, and Beidermeier simplicity in the striped wall paper, fringed muslin curtains and plain light-coloured desk and sewing table. The view from the window is of shipping on the Giudecca canal with San Giorgio Maggiore in the distance. This view would hardly be visible from the Palazzo Corner, since it would be blocked by the Dogana except from a considerable height. It is possible that the residence of the governor was in one of the buildings on the Zattere.
Giuseppe Borsato was principally an ornamental painter. He was born in Venice and studied at the Accademia before going to Rome and working in the circle of Canova. On his return to Venice he was made professor of ornament at the Venice Accademia, and in 1813 he designed a table to be presented to Austria as a token of Venice's loyalty. The table was included as one of the sixty plates in his pattern-book of designs for furniture, silver, lights and so on, published in 1822