Mosaics in the Basilica di San Marco, Venice (11th-13th centuries)

St Mark's Basilica in Venice is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in the world. In 828, Venetian merchants stole the relics of Saint Mark the Evangelist from their original resting place in Alexandria, Egypt. They were initially housed in a temporary chapel within the Doge's Palace, but a more substantial church was built to shelter the valuable relics in 829-32. The present basilica, which incorporates the earlier buildings, was completed around 1071.

The interior is decorated with mosaics, dating mostly from the 12th century, that cover a total area of about 8,000 square meters on the vaults and cupolas. The mosaics depict events from the New Testament. The narthex, an architectural feature common to Byzantine churches, wraps around the west end of the basilica. It is also decorated with mosaics depicting stories from the Old Testament, dating mostly from the 13th century. The oldest mosaics, dating from the late 11th century, are on the are on the façade, on the main portal.

Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Vaulting, nave and transept
12th century
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1435*850
True Color
269 Kb



Vaulting, nave and transept
12th century
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

700*996
True Color
186 Kb



West (Pentecost) cupola
12th century
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

800*958
True Color
168 Kb



Main apse (detail)
c. 1100
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1600*572
True Color
227 Kb



Clement Chapel mosaics (detail)
c. 1150
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1386*800
True Color
315 Kb



Crossing (Ascension) cupola
1175-1200
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1008*1000
True Color
298 Kb



Ascension cupola (detail)
1175-1200
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1250*768
True Color
310 Kb



East (choir) cupola
12th century
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1017*1000
True Color
302 Kb



North (John) cupola (detail)
1100-50
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1100*802
True Color
263 Kb



South (Leonard) cupola
1100-20
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1000*1029
True Color
233 Kb



West (Pentecost) cupola
1100-50
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1005*1000
True Color
289 Kb



Barrel vault (detail)
c. 1200
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1100*882
True Color
318 Kb



Barrel vault (detail)
c. 1200
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

668*1000
True Color
199 Kb



Barrel vault (detail)
1100-50
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1204*750
True Color
305 Kb



Barrel vault (detail)
c. 1200
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1100*858
True Color
330 Kb



South transept, west wall (detail)
c. 1250
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1277*750
True Color
311 Kb



North transept (detail)
12th century
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

799*934
True Color
146 Kb



South side aisle (detail)
1215-20
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1359*700
True Color
199 Kb



South side aisle (detail)
1215-20
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1205*800
True Color
331 Kb



Right aisle, middle arm (detail)
c. 1210
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

517*1300
True Color
156 Kb



South cupola, west narthex
1215-35
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

900*1073
True Color
312 Kb



South cupola, west narthex (detail)
1215-35
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

850*870
True Color
215 Kb



South cupola, west narthex (detail)
1215-35
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

848*1100
True Color
330 Kb



North cupola, west narthex
1215-35
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

931*1050
True Color
301 Kb



North cupola, west narthex (detail)
1215-35
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

900*1071
True Color
347 Kb



South barrel vault, west narthex (detail)
1215-35
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

900*1070
True Color
300 Kb



South barrel vault, west narthex (detail)
1215-35
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

760*1000
True Color
194 Kb



South barrel vault, west narthex (detail)
1215-35
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1083*700
True Color
201 Kb



South barrel vault, west narthex (detail)
1215-35
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1010*650
True Color
174 Kb



East cupola, north narthex
1262-80
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

900*1080
True Color
323 Kb



East cupola, north narthex (detail)
1262-80
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1100*900
True Color
339 Kb



Second Joseph cupola, north narthex (detail)
1260-80
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

900*1016
True Color
307 Kb



Second Joseph cupola, north narthex
1260-80
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

900*1103
True Color
306 Kb



Main portal (detail)
1080-1100
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1400*579
True Color
164 Kb



Main portal (detail)
c. 1250
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1002*1000
True Color
299 Kb



North portal, west façade (detail)
1270-75
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1200*710
True Color
293 Kb



Baptistery, vault (detail)
c. 1350
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1168*700
True Color
187 Kb



Zen Chapel (detail)
1503-15
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice

1075*900
True Color
316 Kb




Summary of Italian mosaics
Mosaics in Rome
San Clemente | Santa Maria in Trastevere | Santa Maria Maggiore
Mosaics in Sicily
Cathedral of Cefalù | Cappella Palatina, Palermo | Cathedral of Monreale
Mosaics in Venice
Basilica di San Marco
Mosaics in Florence
Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery)
Other mosaics
11th-12th centuries | 13th-14th centuries
Mosaicists
RUSUTI, Filippo | TORRITI, Jacopo | CAVALLINI, Pietro
CIMABUE | GIOTTO | GIAMBONO, Michele | ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO