Monday, January 18, 2010

St. Mark's in Venice

In response to our recent post showing a detail of the screen of St. Mark's in Venice, one of our readers sent in some photographs they took in the past two weeks from St. Mark's which they offered to share. The photos are of extremely good quality and bring some interesting views of the church. It will also give an opportunity to give a bit of the history of the building, as taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia. (Note: the photo to the left is not one of his photos.)

"St. Mark's... [in] the eleventh century it was remodelled in imitation of the Basilica of the Apostles at Constantinople. The succeeding centuries, especially the fourteenth, all contributed to its adornment, and seldom did a Venetian vessel return from the Orient without bringing a column, capitals, or friezes, taken from some ancient building, to add to the fabric of the basilica. Its whole pavement is mosaic; it contains gold, bronze, and the greatest variety of stones. The façade is decorated with mosaics of different periods, Byzantine sculptures, and statues of the Evangelists and the Saviour. The four horses of gilded bronze above the great doorway once adorned the Arch of Trajan... The mosaics of the atrium and the interior belong partly to the tenth century. The plan of the interior consists of three longitudinal and three transverse naves."

"Over the high altar is a baldacchino on columns decorated with eleventh-century reliefs..."

One can just see the two back columns of the ciborium as well as the rods going between them; within the high altar, one can see the reliquary of St. Mark

"Behind the high altar is another altar with alabaster columns. The choir stalls are embellished with inlaying by Fra Sebastiano Schiavone, and above them on both sides are three reliefs by Sansovino."

"On the two marble pulpits of the ambo are statuettes by the Massegne brothers (1394). Also in the choir are Sansovino's bronze statutes of the Evangelists and Caliari's of the Four Doctors."

Our photographer also took this photograph of Angelo Cardinal Scola, the Patriarch of Venice, after his celebration of Mass in St. Mark's on the Feast of the Epiphany.

All Photos Copyright MPOBrien 2010

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