VENICE
I am indebted to my friends, the Shields, for the following information on cipollino found in Venice, which they provided after a visit in November 2009. Led by Lazzarini’s references they visited the Ca d’Oro (House of Gold), Venice’s most magnificent palazzo situated on the Grand Canal. Originally known as the Palazzo Santa Sofia, it is now generally known as the Ca’ d’Oro (House of Gold) because of its elaborate exterior decoration with gold leaf, vermillion and ultramarine. It was designed by the architect Giovanni Bon and his son Bartolomeo in his typical Venetian floral gothic style. It is now a museum of art including painting, sculpture and pottery, and houses the Baron Franchetti’s, its last private owner’s art collection, including works by Titian, Tintoretto, Carpaccio, Tiepolo, and Gorgione.


There in the entrance hall is the fine mosaic flooring inset with pieces of cipollino marble in various formations. Plate 2.38 shows a general view of the flooring with many circular pieces of cipollino. The large circles measure approximately 2.5 m. /8.4 Rf in diameter, the smaller cipollino circles measure between .20 to .25 m in diameter. (Plates 2.39 & 2.40). There are also some circles filled with a star shaped pattern of five pentagons of cipollino with its very familiar ‘wavy’ pattern (Plate 2.41 & 2.42).

Church of San Salvador
Lazzarini also refers to ‘la citata colonna che marca il campiello di San Salvador’ and there are the Shields’ photographs of the columns in San Salvador. Some are very reminiscent of those in the church of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome and which I did not think to be Karystian cipollino (Plate 2.43). However the one on the far right might be (Plate 2.44).

The Basilica of San Marco
Lazzarini’s last reference in Venice is to the Basilica of San Marco, six columns on the right of the doorway. Photography was not officially allowed inside the church so that it was not possible to use flash. Therefore the colour of the columns is rather pink in some cases but the markings are very obvious and one could conclude that they are all cipollino. They are estimated to be 6 m. /.20 Rf in height and .60 m. /2 Rf in diameter with Corinthian capitals, a plinth with concave scotia (Plates 2. 45, 2.46, 2.47, 2.48 & 2.49).

Maps and Plates

Plate 2.38.jpg

Plate 2.38 General view of the flooring of the Ca d’Oro (House of Gold), Venice.

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Plate 2.39 & 2.40 Circular panels of cipollino on the floor, in the entrance hall of the Ca d’Oro (House of Gold), Venice.

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Plate 2.39 & 2.40 Circular panels of cipollino on the floor, in the entrance hall of the Ca d’Oro (House of Gold), Venice.

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Plate 2.41 & 2.42 Circles filled with star pattern of cipollino at the Ca d’Oro (House of Gold), Venice.

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Plate 2.41 & 2.42 Circles filled with star pattern of cipollino at the Ca d’Oro (House of Gold), Venice.

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Plate 2.43 One column possibly of cipollino, the Church of San Salvador, Venice.

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Plate 2.44 Possible cipollino column on far right, the Church of San Salvador, Venice.

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Plate 2.45, 2.46 & 2.47 Cipollino columns on the right of the doorway, the Basilica of San Marco, Venice.

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Plate 2.45, 2.46 & 2.47 Cipollino columns on the right of the doorway, the Basilica of San Marco, Venice.

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Plate 2.45, 2.46 & 2.47 Cipollino columns on the right of the doorway, the Basilica of San Marco, Venice.

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Plates 2.48 & 2.49 Close up of cipollino columns, the Basilica of San Marco, Venice.

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Plates 2.48 & 2.49 Close up of cipollino columns, the Basilica of San Marco, Venice.