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San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice

San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice

Edited by Henry Maguire and Robert S. Nelson

ISBN 9780884023609

Publication date: 12/01/2010

The church of San Marco of Venice has long played a central role in Venetian political, ceremonial, and religious life. Its renowned assemblage of mosaics, sculpture, metalwork, and reliquaries are, in origin, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, or Venetian imitation of Byzantine designs. In San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice, the authors assess the significance of the embellishment of the church and its immediate surroundings, especially during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when most of the Byzantine material was acquired, largely from Constantinople. The church and its decoration are studied in relation to Venice’s interests abroad and on mainland Italy. The authors address the diverse styles, sources, meanings, and significance of this art, both individually and as an ensemble.

Building upon developments in scholarship since Otto Demus’s masterly studies of the church, the book offers new insights into the inspiration, purposes, and mutability of San Marco and the myths that inspired and motivated Venetians.


  • Henry Maguire is a former Director of Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks and Professor of Art History at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Robert S. Nelson is Robert Lehman Professor of History of Art, Yale University.

Book Details

  • 304 pages
  • 6-7/8 x 10 inches
  • Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection