Arabian Windos in Campo Santo Maria Mater Domini. by John Ruskin.Mezzotint by Thos. Lupton. 1853. Source: Stones of Venice, volume III (Library Ediiton, XI, facing 320.

Image scan and formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use any of theis image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your web document to this URL or mention the appropriate URL in your print document.]

Ruskin's Text

This group of windows is the only remnant of a small palace, modernized in all its other parts: but it is one of the richest fragments in the city: and a beautiful example of the fantastic arches which I believe to have been borrowed from the Arabs. I defer my special account of it, noting at present only what might otherwise have been supposed errors in the drawing, that two of the circular ornaments at the points of the arches are larger than the rest; that the lateral windows are broader than the three intermediate ones; and that, of the lateral windows themselves, the one on the right is broader than that on the left.

In nearly every group of windows in Venice, belonging to this transitional or Arabic period, the same thing takes place, — one of the lateral openings is larger than all the rest; and I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for such an arrangement, as these groups of windows appear to have always lighted one room only.

The tesselated and fragmentary incrustations are of marble, the capitals and shafts (I think) of Istrian stone, the walls of brick, whether formerly incrusted or not cannot now be discovered; the piece of balcony, seen at the top of the plate, is of course modern.


Ruskin, John. Works, "The Library Edition." eds. E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn. 39 vols. London: George Allen, 1903-1912.

Last modified 6 February 2011