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


8 Badoer, Palazzo

A magnificent example of the fourteenth century Gothic, circa 1310-1320, anterior to the Ducal Palace, and showing beautiful ranges of the fifth-order window, with fragments of the original balconies, and the usual lateral window larger than any of the rest. In the centre of its arcade on the first floor is the inlaid ornament drawn in the Plate VIII., Vol. I. The fresco painting on the walls is of later date; and I believe the heads which form the finials have been inserted afterwards also, the original windows having been pure fifth order.
The building is now a ruin, inhabited by the lowest orders; the first floor, when I was last in Venice, by a laundress.
[1877. Restored and destroyed.]

See also Palazzo Badoer for the current state of the building


9 Baffo, Palazzo

The commonest late Renaissance. A few olive-leaves and vestiges of two figures still remain upon it, of the frescoes by Paul Veronese with which it was once adorned.
[1877. All but gone now; nor were they Paul's - only some clever imitations.]

See also Palazzo Baffo for the current state of the building


10 Barbarigo, Palazzo

Late Renaissance; noticeable only as a house in which some of the best pictures of Titian were allowed to be ruined by damp, and out of which they were then sold to the Emperor of Russia.

See also Palazzo Barbarigo for the current state of the building


12 Barbaro, Palazzo

on the Grand Canal, next the Palazzo Cavalli.
These two buildings form the principal objects in the foreground of the view which almost every artist seizes on his first traverse of the Grand Canal, the Church of the Salute forming a most graceful distance. Neither is, however, of much value, except in general effect; but the Barbaro is the best, and the pointed arcade in its side wall, seen from the narrow canal between it and the Cavalli, is good Gothic of the earliest fourteenth century type.

See also Palazzo Barbaro for the current state of the building


13 Bartolomeo, Church of St.

I did not go to look at the works of Sabastian del Piombo which it contains, fully crediting M. Lazari's statement, that they have been "Barbaramente sfigurati da mani imperite, che pretendevano ristaurarli." Otherwise the church is of no importance.


14 Bembo, Palazzo

on the Grand Canal, next the Casa Manin.
A noble Gothic pile, circa 1350-1380, which before it was painted by the modern Venetians with the two most valuable colours of Tintoret, Bianco e Nero, by being whitewashed above, and turned into a coal warehouse below, must have been among the most noble in effect on the whole Grand Canal. It still forms a beautiful group with the Rialto, some large shipping being generally anchored at its quay. Its sea story and entresol are of earlier date, I believe, than the rest; the doors of the former are Byzantine (see above, Final Appendix, under head "Jambs");and above the entresol is a beautiful Byzantine cornice, built into the wall, and harmonizing well with the Gothic work.

See also Palazzo Bembo for the current state of the building


15 Bembo, Palazzo

in the Calle Magno, at the Campo de' due Pozzi, close to the Arsenal.
Noticed by Lazari and Selvatico as having a very interesting staircase. It is early Gothic, circa 1330, but not a whit more interesting than many others of similar date and design. See "Contarini Porta de Ferro," "Morosini", "Sanudo", and "Minelli."

See also Palazzo Bembo for the current state of the building


16 Benedetto, Campo of St.

Do not fail to see the superb, though partially ruinous, Gothic palace fronting this little square. It is very late Gothic, just passing into Renaissance; unique in Venice, in masculine character, united with the delicacy of the incipient style. Observe especially the brackets of the balconies, the flower-work on the cornices, and the arabesques on the angles of the balconies themselves.

See Palazzo Fortuny for the palace described


17 Bernardo, Palazzo

A very noble pile of early fifteenth century Gothic, founded on the Ducal Palace. The traceries in its lateral windows are both rich and unusual.

See also Palazzo Bernardo for the current state of the building


18 Bernardo, Palazzo

at St. Polo.
A glorious palace, on a narrow canal, in a part of Venice now inhabited by the lower orders only. It is rather late central Gothic, circa 1380-1400, but of the finest kind, and superb in its effect of colour when seen from the side. A capital in the interior court is much praise by Selvatico and Lazari, because its "foglie d' acanto" (anything, by the by, but acanthus), "quasi agitate da vento si attorsigliano d' intorno alla campana, concetto non indegno della bell? epoca greca!" Does this mean "epoca Bisantina?" The capital is simply a translation into Gothic sculpture of the Byzantine ones of St. Mark's and the Fondaco de' Turchi (see Plate VIII., Vol. I., Fig. 14), and is far inferior to either. But, taken as a whole, I think that, after the Ducal Palace, this is the noblest in effect of all in Venice.

See also Palazzo Bernardo for the current state of the building


19 Businello, Casa

On the opposite side of the Grand Canal to the Post Office there is a modern palace, on the other side of which the Byzantine mouldings appear again in the first and second stories of a house lately restored. It might be thought that the shafts and arches had been raised yesterday, the modern walls having been deftly adjusted to them, and all appearance of antiquity, together with the ornamentation and proportions of the fabric, having been entirely destroyed. I cannot, however, speak with unmixed sorrow of the changes, since, without his being implicated in the shame of them, they fitted this palace to become the residence of the kindest friend I had in Venice. It is generally known as Casa Businello.

Jan-Christoph Rößler