St. Mark's (Il Basilico di San Marco) with the flooded Piazza San Marco
The edge of the Campanile is visible at right.
Photograph by George P. Landow, October 2000
[You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL.]
John Ruskin's The Stones of Venice which mentions "reading a building as we would read Milton or Dante" (10.206), explains that St. Mark's "is to be regarded less as a temple wherein to pray, than as itself a Book of Common Prayer, a vast illuminated missal, bound with alabaster instead of parchment, studded with porphyry pillars instead of jewels, and written within and without in letters of enamel and gold" (10.112). Ruskin later adds: "I have above spoken of the whole church as a great Book of Common Prayer; the mosaics were its illuminations, and the common people of the time" [continued below]