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 fašade, on the main portal.

Preview Picture Data Info
Interior view
12th century
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice


Interior view
12th century
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


View of the Baptistry
1342-54
Mosaics
Basilica di San Marco, Venice


Baptistery: Baptism of Christ
c. 1350
Mosaic
Basilica di San Marco, Venice


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



Summary of Italian mosaics
Mosaics in Rome
San Clemente | Santa Maria in Trastevere | Santa Maria Maggiore
Mosaics in Sicily
Cathedral of Cefal¨ | Cappella Palatina, Palermo | Cathedral of Monreale
Mosaics in Venice
Basilica di San Marco
Mosaics in Florence
Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery)
Other mosaics
9th-12th centuries | 13th-14th centuries
Mosaicists
RUSUTI, Filippo | TORRITI, Jacopo | CAVALLINI, Pietro
CIMABUE | GIOTTO | GIAMBONO, Michele | ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO



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