Doge & Lion, Ducale Palace

"Since first the dominion of men was asserted over the ocean, three thrones, of mark beyond all others, have been set upon its sands: the thrones of Tyre, Venice, and England. Of the First of these great powers only the memory remains; of the Second, the ruin; the Third, which inherits their greatness, if it forget their example, may be led through prouder eminence to less pitied destruction . . . I would endeavour to . . . record, as far as I may, the warning which seems to me to be uttered by every one of the fast-gaining waves, that beat like passing bells, against the Stones of Venice." — John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice (Works, 9.17)

"The beginning of everything was in seeing the gondola-beak come actually inside the door at Danieli's, when the tide was up, and the water two feet deep at the foot of the stairs; and then, all along the canal sides, actual marble walls rising out of the salt sea, with hosts of little brown crabs on them, and Titians inside" — John Ruskin, Praeterita (Works, 35.295).

“It is Mr. Ruskin who beyond any one helps us to enjoy. . . . Among the many strange things that have befallen Venice, she has had the good fortune to become the object of a passion to a man of splendid genius, who has made her his own and in so doing has made her the world’s. There is no better reading at Venice therefore, as I say, than Ruskin.” — Henry James, “Venice” (1882)

Created October 2000

Last modified 1 April 2020