John Ruskin: The Stones of Venice - "Venetian Index"


This is an electronic edition of the so-called "Venetian Index", a list of buildings in Venice with descriptions created by John Ruskin as an appendix to his work "The Stones of Venice"

In 1850, John Ruskin travelled to Venice in the company of his wife Effie and his assistant John Hobbes. As part of the preparatory work he had Hobbes learn the daguerreotype process of photography which had been then recently invented 1, giving Ruskin himself the opportunity to spend a great deal of time sketching the architectural detail of buildings. However, he was only interested in façades and ignored plans. Contrary to Ruskin, historians like Rawdon Brown used the archive as their primary source.
However, Venice is the initial point, but not the target of his monumental work of architectural theory published in 1853 in three volumes as "Stones of Venice". The "Stones" are not a history of architecture, but the abundance of details given by Ruskin is still relevant for modern scholarship. Much of the work is dedicated social criticism of the industrialisation in England during the Victorian Age, and Venetian architecure of the Middle Ages, especially the Ducal Palace, is not only regarded as an ideal architecture, but as an effigy of an ideal society. For Ruskin, the Doge's palace was a model of all perfection 2. It cannot surprise that the late renaissance and baroque architecture (grotesque renaissance) does, according to Ruskin's moralism, symbolize the decay of the "Serenissima" herself. The description of Moise, Church of St. is a prime example of his criticism.
The third volume of the original publication of "Stones of Venice" contains the "Venetian Index", where every building of importance in the city of Venice itself, or near it was named, described and evaluated. Many of the datings proposed by Ruskin are considered as valid even by modern scholars; and his classification of the orders of Venetian arches is still used to describe the gothic profane architecture of Venice3.


General Scholarship: Clegg, Jeanne: Ruskin and Venice, London 1981; Hewison, Robert: Ruskin a Venezia, Venice 1983
1 cf. Costantini, Paolo; Zannier, Italo (ed.): I dagherrotipi della collezione Ruskin. Venice/Florence 1986.
2 Ruskin, John: The Seven Lamps of Architecture, cap. 3 sect. 9
3 Schulz, Juergen. The New Palaces of Medieval Venice. University Park 2004, passim

List of buildings described in the Venetian Index

1 Accademia delle Belle Arte
2 Alvise, Church of St.
3 Andrea, Church of St.
4 Angeli, Church degli, at Murano
5 Apostoli, Church of the
6 Apostoli, Palace at
7 Arsenal
8 Badoer, Palazzo
9 Baffo, Palazzo
10 Barbarigo, Palazzo
12 Barbaro, Palazzo
13 Bartolomeo, Church of St.
14 Bembo, Palazzo
15 Bembo, Palazzo
16 Benedetto, Campo of St.
17 Bernardo, Palazzo
18 Bernardo, Palazzo
19 Businello, Casa
20 Camerlenghi, Palace of the
21 Cappello, Palazzo
22 Carita, Church of the
23 Carmini, Church of the
24 Cassiano, Church of St.
25 Cattarina, Church of St.
26 Cavalli, Palazzo
27 Cavalli, Palazzo
28 Cicogna, Palazzo
29 Clemente, Church of St.
30 Contarini, Porta di Ferro, Palazzo
31 Contarini (delle Figure), Palazzo
32 Contarini Fasan, Palazzo
33 Corner della Ca' grande, Palazzo
34 Corner della Regina, Palazzo
35 Corner Spinelli, Palazzo
36 Correr, Raccolta
37 Dandolo, Palazzo
38 Danieli, Albergo
40 Dogana di Mare
42 Dona', Palazzo
43 D'Oro, Casa
44 Ducal Palace
50 Facanon, Palazzo (alla Fava)
51 Falier, Palazzo
52 Fantino, Church of St.
53 Farsetti, Palazzo
54 Ferro, Palazzo
56 Fondaco de' Tedeschi
58 Fosca, Church of St.
59 Foscari, Palazzo
60 Francesco della Vigna, Church of St.
61 Frari, Church of the
62 Giacomo de Lorio, Church of St.
63 Giacomo di Rialto, Church of St.
64 Giobbe, Church of St.
65 Giorgio dei Greci, Church of St.
66 Giorgio de' Schiavoni, Church of St.
67 Giorgio in Alga (St. George in the seaweed), Church of St.
68 Giorgio Maggiore, Church of St.
69 Giovanelli, Palazzo
70 Giovanni e Paolo, Church of St.
71 Giovanni Crisostomo, Church of St.
72 Giovanni Elemosinario, Church of St.
73 Giovanni in Bragola, Church of St.
74 Giovanni, S., Scuola di.
75 Giudecca
76 Giuseppe di Castello, Church of St.
77 Giustiniani, Palazzo
78 Giustiniani, Palazzo
79 Giustinian Lolin, Palazzo
80 Grassi, Palazzo
81 Gregorio, Church of St.
82 Grimani, Palazzo
83 Jesuiti, Church of the
84 Libreria Vecchia
85 Lio, Church of St.
86 Lio, Salizzada di St., windows in
87 Loredan, Palazzo
88 Luca, Church of St.
89 Malipiero, Palazzo
90 Manfrini, Palazzo
91 Manzoni, Palazzo
92 Marcilian, Church of St.
95 Mater Domini, Church of Sta. Maria.
96 Mater Domini, Campo di Sta. Maria
97 Michele in Isola, Church of St.
98 Minelli, Palazzo
99 Miracoli, Church Sta Maria Dei
100 Misericordia, Church of
101 Moise, Church of St.
102 Morosini, Palazzo
103 Nani-Mocenigo, Palazzo
104 Orto, Church of Sta. Maria dell'
105 Ospedaletto, Church of the
106 Othello, House of
107 Pantaleone, Church of St.
108 Paternian, Church of St.
109 Pesaro, Palazzo
110 Piazzetta, pillars of
111 Pietro, Church of St.
112 Pietro di Castello, Church of St.
113 Pisani, Palazzo
114 Pisani, Palazzo
115 Polo, Church of St.
116 Polo, Square of St
117 Polo, Palazzo
119 Priuli, Palazzo
120 Procuratie Nuove
121 Querini Palazzo, now the Beccherie
122 Raffaelle, Chiesa dell' Angelo
123 Redentore, Church of the
124 Remer, Corte del., house in
125 Rezzonico, Palazzo
126 Rialto, Bridge of the
127 Rio del Palazzo
129 Rocco, Church of St.
130 Rocco, Scuola di San
131 Sagredo, Palazzo
132 Salute, Church of Sta. Maria della, on the Grand Canal
133 Salvatore, Church of St
134 Sanudo, Palazzo
135 Scalzi, Church of the
136 Sebastian, Church of St.
137 Servi, Church of the
138 Severo, Fondamenta San, palace at
139 Silvestro, Church of St.
140 Simeone, Profeta, Church of St.
141 Simeone, Piccolo, Church of St.
142 Sospiri, Ponte de'
143 Stefano, Church of St.
144 Stefano, Church of St.
145 Strope, Campiello della, house in
146 Tana, windows at the
147 Tolentini, Church of the
148 Toma, Ponte San
150 Trevisan, Palazzo
151 Trovaso, Church of St.
152 Vitali, Church of St.
153 Volto Santo, Church of the
154 Zaccaria, Church of St.
155 Zobenigo, Church of Santa Maria

Jan-Christoph Rößler