Théodore Géricault (1791-1824) was an influential French painter and lithographer of the Romantic Period. His best known work, The Raft of the Medusa, is a picture of 'pathos and protest'. He was, according to Encylopedia Britannica, 'a dandy and an avid horseman whose dramatic paintings reflect his flamboyant and passionate personality'.
Julian Barnes devotes a chapter to The Raft of the Medusa in his book, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters.
The Doge was elected by a byzantine sequence of committees, and was considered the shrewdest elder in the city. This system of leadership, designed to keep power away from the richest families, held for over a thousand years.
The idea of a daybed probably refers to the magnificently luxurious state barge, the bucentaur, on which the Doge travelled in great style, possibly with a daybed to recline on. Four bucentaurs were built, each more splendid than the last, between 1311 and 1729. The last was a floating palace of gold leaf and red velvet, 35 metres long, with places for 168 oarsmen. When Napoleon took Venice in 1798, he ordered the vessel destroyed.