1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Venice
VENICE (Venezia), a city and seaport of Italy, occupying one of the most remarkable sites in the world. At the head of the Adriatic, between the mountains and the sea, lies that part of the Lombard plain known as the Veneto. The whole of this plain has been formed by the débris swept down from the Alps by the rivers Po, Ticino, Oglio, Adda, Mincio, Adige, Brenta, Piave, Livenza, Tagliamento and Isonzo. The substratum of the plain is a bed of boulders, covered during the lapse of ages by a deposit of rich alluvial soil. The rivers when they debouch from the 'mountains assume an eastern trend in their effort to reach the sea. The result is that the plain is being gradually extended in an easterly direction, and cities like Ravenna, Adria and Aquileia, which were once seaports, lie now many miles inland. The encroachment of land on sea has been calculated at the rate of about three miles in a thousand years. A strong current sets round the head of the Adriatic from east to west. This current catches the silt brought down by the rivers and projects it in long banks, or lidi, parallel with the shore. In process of time some of these banks, as in the case of Venice, raised themselves above the level of the water and became the true shore-line, while behind them lay large surfaces of water, called lagoons, formed partly by the fresh water brought down by the rivers, partly by the salt-water tide which found its way in by the channels of the river mouths. Along the coast-line, roughly speaking between the Apennines at Rimini and the Carnic Alps at Trieste, three main systems of lagoons were thus created, the lagoon of Grado or Marano to the east, the lagoon of Venice in the middle, and the lagoon of Comacchio to the south-west (for plan, see Harbour). All three are dotted with small islands, possibly the remains of some earlier lido. These islands are little else than low mud banks, barely rising above the water-level. On a group of these mud banks about the middle of the lagoon of Venice stands the city of Venice. It would be difficult to imagine a site less adapted for the foundation and growth of a great community. The soil is an oozy mud which can only be made capable of carrying buildings by the artificial means of pile-driving; there is no land fit for agriculture or the rearing of cattle; the sole food supply is fish from the lagoon, and there is no drinking-water save such as could be stored from the rainfall. Yet the group of islands called Rialto, in mid-Venetian lagoon, were first the asylum and then the magnificent and permanent home of a race that took a prominent part in the medieval and Renaissance history of Europe. The local drawbacks and difficulties once surmounted, Venice by her geographical position became the seaport nearest the heart of Europe.
Ethnography and Early History.—As to the ethnography of the race little is known that is certain. It has frequently been said that the lagoon population was originally composed of refugees from the mainland seeking asylum from the incursions of Huns,, Goths and Lombards; but it is more probable that, long before the date of the earliest barbarian inroad, the lagoon islands already had a population of fisherfolk. In any case we may take it that the lagoon-dwellers were racially identical with the inhabitants of the neighbouring mainland, the Heneti or Veneti. That the Heneti themselves were immigrants is generally admitted. The earlier ethnographers, like Strabo, put forward three theories as to the original home of the race. Strabo himself talks of Armoric Heneti, and supposes them to have come from the neighbourhood of Brittany; another theory gives us Sarmatian Heneti, from the Baltic provinces; while the most widely accepted view was that they reached Italy from Paphlagonia. Modern scholarship has rejected these theories. Pauli and Kretschmer, proceeding on the basis of language, have reached conclusions which in the main are identical. Pauli, who has published all the known inscriptions of the Heneti, holds that the language is Illyrian, closely connected with Messapian. Kretschmer goes further and divides the Illyrian language into two sharply defined dialects, the northern dialect being represented by the Heneti. The result is that in the present condition of our knowledge we must conclude that the Heneti were a branch of the Illyrian people. The Eneti of Paphlagonia, the Veneti of Brittany and the Venedi of the Baltic, are probably quite distinct, and the similarity of name is merely a coincidence.
The dwellings of the primitive settlers in the lagoons were, in all probability, rude huts made of long reeds, such as may be seen to this day in the lagoon of Grado. A ditch was cut deep into the mud so as to retain the water at low tide, and there the boats of the fishermen lay. The ground about the hut was made solid and protected from corrosion by a palisade of wattled osiers, thus creating the earliest form of the fondamenta, or quay, which runs along the side of so many Venetian canals and is so prominent a feature in the construction of the city. Gradually, as time went on, and probably with the influx of refugees from the mainland, bricks made of lagoon mud came to take the place of wattle and reeds in the construction of the houses. Groups of dwellings, such as are still to be seen on some of the small canals at Burano, clustered together along the banks of the deeper channels which traverse the lagoon islands and give access to the tide. It is these channels which determined the lines of construction; the dwellings followed their windings, and that accounts for the extraordinarily complex network of calles and canals which characterizes modern Venice. The alleys or calli number 2327, with a total length of 894 m.; the canals number 177 and measure 28 m. The whole site of Venice is dominated by the existence of one great main canal, the Grand Canal, which, winding through the town in the shape of the letter S, divides it into two equal parts. This great canal was probably at one time the bed of a river flowing into the lagoons near Mestre. The smaller canals all serve as arteries to the Grand Canal. One other broad canal, once the bed of the Brenta, divides the island of the Giudecca from the rest of the city and takes its name from that island. The ordinary Venetian house was built round a courtyard, and was one storey high; on the roof was an open loggia for drying clothes; in front, between the house and the water, ran the fondamenta. The earliest churches were built with cemeteries for the dead; and thus we find the nucleus of the city of Venice, little isolated groups of dwellings each on its separate islet, scattered, as Cassiodorus says, like sea-birds' nests over the face of the waters. Some of the islets were still uninhabited; covered with a dense low growth which served as cover for game and even for wolves.
With the destruction of the mainland cities by repeated barbarian invasions, and thanks to the gradual development of Venice as a centre of coasting trade in the northern Adriatic, the aspect of the city changed. Brick and more rarely stone took the place of wood and wattle. The assaults, of the Dalmatian pirates, attracted by the growing wealth of the city, necessitated the building of strong castellated houses, of which no example has come down to our day, but we may gather what they were like from Petrarch's description of his house on the Riva degli Schiavoni, with its two flanking towers, probably retaining the primitive form, and also from the representations of protecting towers which occur in Carpaccio's pictures. The canals too were guarded by chains stretched across their mouths and by towers in some cases, as, for example, in the case of the Torresella Canal, which takes its name from these defence works. These houses clustered round the churches which now began to be built in considerable numbers, and formed the various contrade of the city. The Cronica altinate in the vision of Fra Mauro gives us a picturesque account of the founding of the various parishes, Olivolo or Castello, St Raffaello, St Salvadore, Sta Maria Formosa, S. Giovanni in Bragora, the Apostoli and Sta Giustina. Tradition has it that the earliest church in Venice was S. Giacomo di Rialto, said to have been founded in 432. The canals between these clusters of houses were deepened and cleared out, and in some cases trees were planted along the banks, or fondamenta; we hear of the cypresses on San Giorgio Maggiore, of an ancient mulberry tree at San Salvadore, of a great elder tree: near the Procuratie Vecchie where the magistrates were wont to tie their horses. There were vineyards and orchards (broli). on land reclaimed from the sea, and lying between the various clusters of houses, which had not yet been consolidated into one continuous city. The canals were crossed by, wooden bridges without steps, and in the case of the wide Grand Canal the bridge at Rialto was carried on boats. Gradually, however, stone bridges came into use. The earliest of these was the bridge of San Zaccaria, mentioned in; a document of 1170. The Rialto bridge was designed in 1178 by Nicolo Barattieri, and was carried on pontoons. In 1255 and 1264 it was rebuilt, still in wood. It was carried on beams and could be raised in the middle, as we see it in Carpaccio's picture of “The Miracle of the Cross.” The present bridge, the work of Antonio or Giovanni Contino, whose nickname was da Ponte, dates from 1588-91, and cost 250,000 ducats. The same architect was responsible for the lofty “Bridge of Sighs” (1595-1605), connecting the ducal palace with the state prisons (1591-97) on the opposite side of the narrow canal Jon the east of the Rio del Palazzo.
The early bridges were inclined planes and could easily be crossed by horses. It was not till the city became more populous and when stone-stepped bridges were introduced that the use of horses died out. As late as 1365 the Doge Lorenzo. Celsi owned a famous stud of chargers, and in 149O the Doge Michele Steno's stables, where the present Zecca stands, were famous throughout Italy. In 1392 a law put an end 'to riding in the Merceria, on account of the crowd, and all horses and mules were obliged to carry bells to warn foot-passengers. The lanes and alleys of the early city were unpaved and filthy with slops from the houses. But in the 13th century;the Venetians began to pave the more frequented streets with brick; Ferries or traghetti for crossing the canals were also established as early as the 13th century; we find record of ferries at San Gregorio, San Felice, San Toma, San Samuele, and so on, and also of longer ferries to the outlying islands like Murano and Chioggia, or to the mainland at Mestre and Fusina. The boatmen early erected themselves into gilds.
Gondolas.—The characteristic conveyances on the canals of Venice-which take the place of cabs in other cities-are the gondolas, flat-bottomed boats, some 30 ft. long by 4 or 5 aft. wide, curving out of the water at the ends, with ornamental bow and stern pieces and an iron beak (ferro), resembling a halberd, which is the highest part of the boat. The gondolier stands on a poppa at the stern with his face towards the bow, and propels the gondola with a single oar. There is a low cabin (felze) for passengers; the ordinary gondolas can take four or six persons, and larger ones (barca or battello) take eight. Gondolas are mentioned as far back as 1094, and, prior to a sumptuary edict passed by the great council in the 16th century, making black their compulsory colour, they were very different in appearance from now. Instead of the present boat, with its heavy black cabin and absence of colouring, the older forms had an awning of rich stuffs or gold embroideries, supported on a light arched framework open at both ends, this is the gondola still seen in Carpaccio's and Gentile Bellini's pictures (c. 1500). Since 1880 services of omnibus steamers (now municipal) have also been introduced.
Byzantine Architecture.—We can trace the continuous growth of Venice, through the successive styles of Byzantine, Gothic, early Renaissance and late Renaissance architecture. The whole subject is magnificently treated in Ruskin's Stones of Venice. The two most striking buildings in Venice, St Mark 's and the Doge's Palace, at once give us an example of the two earlier styles, the Byzantine and the Gothic, at least in their general design, though both are so capricious in development and in decoration that they may more justly be considered as unique specimens rather than as typical examples of their respective styles. In truth, owing to its isolated position on the very verge of Italy, and to its close connexion with the East, Venetian architecture was an independent development. Though displaying a preponderance of Oriental characteristics, it retained a quality of its own quite unlike the styles evolved by other Western countries.
12th centuries. The arches of this period are semicircular and usually highly stilted. Sculptured ornamentation, flowing scroll work of semi-conventional foliage mingled with grotesque animals, birds or dragons, is freely applied to arches and string courses. The walls are built of solid brickwork and then covered with thin slabs of rich and costly marbles., Sculptured panels, with conventional motives, peacocks, eagles devouring hares, peacocks drinking from a cup on a tall pillar, are let into both exterior and interior walls, as are roundels of precious marbles, sawn from columns of porphyry, serpentine, verd antique, &c. The adoption of veneer for decoration prohibited any deep cutting, and almost all the sculpture is shallow. Only in the capitals, which are of extraordinary richness and variety, do we get any deep or bold relief. Dentil mouldings, of which examples may still be seen in the remains of the palace of Blachernae at Constantinople, are characteristic of Venetian ornamentation at this period, and remain a permanent feature in Venetian architecture down to the 11th century. The dome is the leading idea or motif in Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture; the domes are placed over square, not circular apartments, and their bases are brought, to a circle by means of pendentives. In exterior elevation the chief effect is produced by the grouping of the domes. In the interior the effect is gained by broad masses of chromatic decoration in marble-veneer and mosaics on a gold ground to cover the walls and vaults, and b elaborate pavements of opus sectile and opus Alexandrinum. Owing to the marshy site the foundations of buildings in Venice offered considerable difficulties. A trench was dug in the soft upper mud until the stratum of stiff blue clay was reached. Piles of elm, oak, white poplar or larch were driven into this clay to the depth of 16 to 20 ft. or until absolute resistance was encountered. The heads of the piles were from 10 to 11 in. in diameter and they were driven in almost in contact. On this surface of pile heads was laid a platform of two layers of squared oak beams; and on this again the foundations proper were built. In some cases, however, as for example in the ducal palace itself, if the clay appeared sufficiently firm, the piles were dispensed with and the foundations went up directly from the oak platform which rested immediately on the clay. During the middle ages the walls of Venetian buildings we reconstructed invariably of brick. They were usually solid, but in some cases they were built a sacco—that is to say, two thin outer walls were built and the space between them was filled with grouted rubble. The delicate creamy Istrian stone, which is now so prominent a feature in Venetian architecture, did not come into common use till after the 11th century, when the Istrian coast became permanently Venetian; Before 1405 the mortar used in Venice. was made of lime from Istria, which possessed no hydraulic qualities and was consequently very perishable, a fact which to a large extent accounts for the fall of the Campanile of San Marco. But when Venice took possession of the mainland her builders were able to employ a strong hydraulic dark lime from Albettone, which formed a durable cement, capable of resisting, saltwater and the corrosive sea air.
The church of St Mark's, originally the private chapel of the doge, is unique among the buildings of the world in. respect of its unparalleled richness of material and decoration. St Mark's. It grew with the growing state whose religious centre it was, and was adorned with the spoils of countless other buildings, both in the East and on the Italian mainland. A law of the republic required every merchant trading to the East to bring back some material for the adornment of the fane. Indeed, the building has been compared to the treasure den of a gang of “sea sharkers,” and from a museum of sculpture of the most varied kind, nearly every century from the 4th down to the latest Renaissance being represented. The present church is the third on this site. Soon after the concentration at Rialto (see History, below), a small wooden church was erected about the year 828 for the reception of the relics of St Mark, which had been brought from Alexandria when the Moslems pulled down the church where he was buried. St Mark then became the patron saint of Venice in place of St Theodore, This church was burned in 976 along with the ducal palace in the insurrection against the Doge Candiano IV. Pietro Orseolo and his successors rebuilt the church on a larger scale in the form .of a basilica. with three eastern apses and no transept, and Byzantine workmen were employed. As the state grew in wealth and importance the church grew with it. About the year 1063 the Doge Contarini resolved to remodel St Mark's. There can be no doubt that Byzantine artists had a large share in the work, but it is equally certain that Lombard workmen were employed along with the Orientals, and thus St Mark's became, as it were, a workshop in which two styles, Byzantine and Lombard, met and were fused together, giving birth to a new style, peculiar to the district, which may fairly be called Veneto-Byzantine.
In plan (see the article Architecture) St Mark's is a Greek cross of equal arms, covered by a dome in the centre, 42 ft. in diameter, and(by a dome over each of the arms. The plan is derived from the Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople, now covered by the mosque of Mahommed II., and bears a strong resemblance to the plan of St Front at Périgueux in France (1120). The addition of a narthex before the main front and a vestibule on the northern side brings the whole western arm of the cross to a square on plan. In elevation the facade seems to have connexion with the live-bayed facade of the Kahriyeh Jamé, or mosaic mosque, at Constantinople. The exterior facade is enriched with marble columns brought from Alexandria and other cities of the East, and bearing in many cases incised grafiiti. Mosaics are employed to decorate the spandrels of the arches. Only one of the original mosaics now exists, the one over the doorway at the north-western, or St Alipio, angle. Its subject, which is of high historical value as a record of costume, represents the translation of the body of St Mark, and gives us a view of the west facade of the church as it was at the beginning of the 13th century before the addition of the ogee gables, with alternating crockets and statues, and the intermediate pinnacled canopies placed between the five great arches of the upper storey. The top of the narthex forms a wide gallery, communicating with the interior at the triforium level. In the centre of this gallery stand the four colossal bronze horses which belonged to some Graeco-Roman triumphal quadri a, and were brought to Venic'e by the Doge Enrico Dandolo after the fall of Constantinople in 120; they were carried off by Napoleon to Paris in 1797, and restored by Francis of Austria in 1815.
Mosaic is the essential decoration of the church, and the architectural details are subordinated to the colour scheme. These mosaics belong to very various dates. The Doge Domenico Selvo began the decoration of the church in 1071, though it is uncertain whether any of his work can be now identified. The mosaics of the domes would seem to belong to the 12th century, probably before 1150. The mosaics of the atrium date from 1200 to 1300; the subjects are taken from Old Testament story. The baptistery mosaics represent the life of St John. The mosaics in the chapel of St Isidore (finished by Andrea Dandolo), giving us the life of the saint, were executed in 1355. In the sacristy is a series of 10th-century mosaics, and in other parts of the church are inferior and later mosaics from cartoons by later Venetian masters. Below the mosaics the walls and arches are covered with rare marbles, porphyries and alabaster from ancient columns sawn into slices and so arranged in broad bands as to produce a rich gamut of colour.
The eastern crypt, or confession, extends under the whole of the choir and has three apses, like the upper church. The body of St Mark formerly rested here, but is now within the high altar. Below the nave is another crypt. The floors of -both crypts have sunk considerably and are often under water; this settlement accounts for the inequalities of the pavement. The original part of the magnificent mosaic pavement probably dates from the middle of the 12th century, if we may judge from the pavement at Murano, exactly similar in style, material and workmanship, which bears the date 1 140. The pavement consists partly of opus Alesqandrinum of red and green porphyry mixed with marbles, partly of tessellated work of glass and marble tesserae.
The choir stands about 4 ft. above the nave and is se arated from it by a marble rood-screen, on the architrave of which stand fourteen hgures, the signed work of lacobello and Pietro Paolo delle Masegne, 1394.
The Pala d'oro, or retable of the high altar, is one of the chief glories of St Mark's. It is one of the most magnificent specimens of goldsmiths' and jewellers' work in existence. It was ordered in 976 at Constantinople by the Doge Pietro I. Orseolo, and was enlarged and enriched with gems and modified in form, first by a Greek artificer in 1105, and then by Venetians between 1209 and 1345. It is composed of figures o Christ, angels, prophets and saints, in Byzantine enamel run into gold plates. It is about 11 ft. 6in. wide, and about 4 ft. 8 in. high. It contains 1300 great pearls, 400 garnets, 90 amethysts, 300 sapphires, 300 emeralds, 15 rubies, 75 balas rubies, 4 topazes, 2 cameos; the ems, except where they have been replaced, are cut en cabochon. Tie treasury of St Mark's contains a magnificent collection of church plate and jewels.
Fine examples of Venetian Byzantine palaces-at least of the facades are still to be seen on the Grand Canal and in some of the small canals. The interiors have been modified past recognition of their original disposition. The Byzantine palace seems to have had twin angle-towers—gemihas angular turres—such as those of the Ca' Molin on the Byzantine palaces. Riva degli Schiavoni, where Petrarch lived. The restored (1880) Fondaco dei Turchi (13th century), now the Museo Civico, also has two angle-towers. The facades presented continuous colonnades on each floor with semicircular high stilted arches, leaving a very small amount of wall space. The buildings were usually battlemented in fantastic form. A good specimen may be seen in Lazzaro Sebastiani's picture of the piazzetta, in the Museo Civico. There on the right we see the handsome building of the old bakery, occupying the site of the present library; it has two arcades of Saracenic arches and a fine row of battlements. Other specimens still in existence are the municipal buildings, Palazzo Loredan and Palazzo Farsetti-if, indeed, these are not to be considered rather as Romanesquefand the splendid Ca' da Mosto, all on the Grand Canal. The richest ornamentation was applied to the arches and string courses, while plaques of sculpture, roundels and coats of arms adorned the facades. The remains of a Byzantine facade now almost entirely built into a wall in the Rio di Ca' Foscari offer us excellent illustration of this decorative work.
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original campo was bounded on the west by the canal B, with the 6th-century church of S. Geminiano, C, on its west bank. The first enlargement of the square was effected by Doge Sebastiano Ziani in 1176, when he filled up the canal and rebuilt the church on a new site at D, thus nearly doubling the size of the square. Lastly, the square was extended southwards in the 16th century, when the new palace of the procurators, K, was built by Scamozzi. Gentile Bellini's picture shows a line of houses along FF, reaching up to the great campanile, A. Napoleon I. in 1805-10 pulled down the church of Geminiano and built a new block at the west end of the square, L. The dates of' the various parts of 'the existing ducal palace are indicated on the plan; the rebuilding was carried on in the following order, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V., At Z is the treasury of St Mark, which was originally one of the towers belonging to the old ducal palace; E, site of old houses; G, clock tower;, old palace of procurators; al, old library;' M, . two columns; N, Ponte della Paglia; O, Bridge of Sighs; W, GiantsStaircase; X, sacristy of St Mark; Y, Piazzetta .
Gothic Architecture.-Venetian Gothic, both ecclesiastical and domestic, shares most of the characteristics of north Italian Gothic generally, though in domestic architecture it displays one peculiarity which we shall presently -note. The material, brick and terra-cotta, is the determining, cause of the characteristics of north Italian Gothic.
of obtaining heavy cornices in that material, mark the style. The prevalence of sunlight led to a restriction of the windows and exaggeration of wall space. The development of tracery was hindered both by the material and by the relative insignificance of the windows. On the other hand, the plastic quality of terracotta. suggested an abundance of delicate ornamentation on a small sale, which produced its effect by its own individual beauty without broad reference to the general scheme. Coloured marbles and frescoes served a like purpose. The exteriors of the north Italian Gothic churches are characterized by the flatness of the roof; the treatment of the west facade as a mere screen wall, masking the true lines of the aisle roofs; the great circular window in the west front for lighting the nave; the absence of pinnacles owing to the unimportance of the buttresses; the west-end porches with columns resting on lions or other animals. The peculiarity of Venetian domestic Gothic to which we have referred is this: we frequently find tracery used to fill rectangular, not arched, openings. The result is that the tracery itself as to support the structure above it—is, in fact, constructional—whereas in most other countries the tracery is merely, as it were, a pierced screen filling in a constructionalarch. Hence the noticeable heaviness of Venetian tracery.
The ducal palace, like St Mark's, is a symbol and an epitome of the race which evolved it. Soon after the concentration The ducal palace.at Rialto the doge Angelo Particiaco began an official residence for the head of the state. It was probably a small, strongly fortified castle; one of its massive angle-towers is now incorporated in St Mark's and serves as the treasury. During the earlier years of the republic the ducal palace was frequently destroyed and rebuilt. It was burnt in 976 and again inf 1106. At the close of the 12th century (1173-1179) Sebastian Ziani restored and enlarged the palace. Of his work some traces still remain in the richly sculptured bands built in at intervals along the 14th-century facade on the Rio, and part of the handsome larch-wood 'beams which; formed the loggia of the piazzetta facade, still visible on the inner wall of the present loggia. The present magnificent building was a slow. growth extending over three centuries and expanding gradually as the republic grew in riches.
The, palace as we now see it, was begun about 1300 by Doge Pietro Garadenigo who soon, after the closing of the great council gave its permanent form 'to the Venetian constitution. It is therefore in a sense, contemporaneous with the early manhood of the state. Gradenigo built the facade along the Rio. About 1309 the arcaded facade along the lagoon front was taken in hand, and set the design fir the whole of the external frontage of the palace. Towards the end of the 14th century, this facade, with its lower colonnade, upper loggia with handsome Gothic tracery, and the vast impending upper storey, which give to the whole building its striking appearance and audacious design, had been carried as far as the tenth column on the piazzetta side. At this point, perhaps out of regard for the remains of Ziani's palace, the, work seems to have been arrested for many years, but in 1424 the building was resumed and carried as far as the north-west, or judgment, angle, near St Mark's, thus completing the sea and piazzetta facades as we now see them. The great gateway, the Porta della Carta, was added in 1439-42 from designs by Bartholomeo Buono (or Bon), and his son. The block of buildings in the interior, connecting the Porta della Carta to the Rio wing, was added about 1462 by the doge Cristoforo Moro. In 1479 a fire consumed the earlier buildings along the Rio, and these were replaced (1480-1550) by the present Renaissance structure.
The two main facades, those towards the sea and the piazzetta, consist of a repetition of the same design, that which was begun in the early years of the 14th century. The name of the architect who began the work and thus fixed the design of the whole is not certainly known, but it must have been a man of an earlier generation than that of Filippo Calendario, who is often stated to have been the chief architect of the older portion. Calendario was an accomplice in the conspiracy of Marino Faliero, and was executed together with the doge in 1355. It appears probable that a Venetian architect and sculptor named Pietro Baseggio was the chief master builder in the first half of the 14th century. The design of these facades is very striking and unlike that of any other building in the world. It consists of two storeys with open colonnades, forming a long loggia on the ground and first floors, with seventeen arches on the front and eighteen on the other facade. Above this is a lofty third store, pierced with a few large windows, with pointed arches once filled with tracery, which is now lost. The whole surface of the ponderous upper storey is covered with a 'diaper pattern in slabs of creamy white Istrian stone and red Verona marble, giving a delicate rosy-orange hue to the building. Very beautiful sculpture, executed with an ivory-like minuteness of finish, is used to decorate the whole building wit wonderful profusion. At each of the three free angles is a large group immediately over the lower column. At the south-east angle is the “Drunkenness of Noah," at the south-west the “Fall of Man,” and at the north-west the “Judgment of Solomon!" Over each, at a much higher level, is a colossal figure of an archangel—Raphael, Michael and Gabriel.
The great internal court is surrounded with arcading. From the interior of the court access isg iven to the upper loggia by a very beautiful staircase of early Renaissance stylie, built in the middle of the 15th century by Antonio Rizzo. Two colossal statues of Neptune and Mars at the top of these stairs were executed by Iacopo Sansovino in 1554—hence the name “giants' staircase." Owing to a fire which gutted a. great part of the palace in 1574, the internal appearance of the rooms was completely changed, and the fine series of early Paduan and Venetian paintings which decorated the walls of the chief, rooms, was lost. At present the magnificent Council chambers for the different legislative bodies of the Venetian republic and the state apartments of the doges are richly decorated with gilt carving and panelling in the style of the later Renaissance. On the walls of the chief council chambers are a magnificent series of oil-paintings by Tintoretto and other less able Venetians—among them Tintoretto's masterpiece, “Bacchus and Ariadne,” and his enormous picture of Paradise, the largest oil-painting in the world.
Among the many Gothic churches of Venice the largest are the Franciscan church 'of Santa Maria. Gloriosa dei Frari (1250-1280) Gothic churches. and the Dominican church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo (1260'°'1400). The Frari is remarkable for its fine choir-stalls and for the series of six eastern chapels which from outside give a very good example of Gothic brickwork, comparable with the even finer apse of the now desecrated church of San Gregorio. The church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo was the usual burying-place of the doges, and contains many 'noble mausoleums of various dates. Besides these two churches we may mention Santo Stefano, an interesting building of central Gothic, "the best ecclesiastical example, of it in Venice.” The apse is built over a canal. The west entrance is later than the rest, of the edifice and is of the richest Renaissance Gothic, a little earlier than the Porta della Carta.
But it is in the domestic architecture of Venice that we find the most striking and characteristic examples of Gothic. Gothic palaces.The introduction of that styled coincided with the consolidation of the Venetian constitution and the development of Venetian commerce both in the Levant and with England and Flanders. The wealth which thus accrued found architectural expression in those noble palaces, so characteristic of Venice, which line the Grand and smaller canals. They are so numerous that we cannot do more than call attention to one or two.
The most striking example is undoubtedly the Ca' d' Oro, so called from the profusion of gold employed on its facade. It was built for Marino Contarini in 1421, rather a late period in the development of the style.
Marino kept a minute entry of his expenses, a document of the highest value, not merely for the history of the building, but also for the light it throws on the private life of the great patricians who gave to Venice such noble examples of art. Contarini was to some extent his own architect. He had the assistance of Marco d'Amadeo, a master builder, and of Matteo Reverti, a Milanese sculptor, who were joined later on by Giovanni Buono and his son Bartolome. Other artists, of whom we know nothing else, such as Antonio Busetto, Antonio Foscolo, Gasparino Rosso, Giacomo da Como, Marco da Legno and others, were called in to help in evolving this masterpiece of decorated architecture, affording us an example of the way in which the ducal palace and other monuments of Venice grew out of the collaboration of numerous nameless artists. By the year 1431 the facade was nearly completed, and Contarini made a bargain with Martino and Giovanni Benzon for the marbles to cover what was yet unfinished. The facade is a triumph of graceful elegance; so light is the tracery, so rich the decoration, so successful the breach of symmetry which gives us a wing upon the left-hand side but none upon the right. But Contarini was not content to leave the marbles as they were. He desired to have the facade, of his house in colour. The contract for this work, signed with Master Zuan de Franza, conjures up a vision of the, Ca d' Oro ablaze with colour and gleaning with the gold ornamentation from which it took its name.
Other notable examples of this style are the Palazzo Ariani at San Raffaelle, with its handsome window in a design of intersecting circles; the beautiful window with the symbols of the four Evangelists in the spandrels, in the facade of a house, at San Stae; the row of three Giustinian palaces at S., Barnaba; the Palazzo Priuli at San Severo, with a remarkably graceful angle-window, where the columnar mullion carries down the angle of the wall; the flamboyant balconies of the Palazzo Contarini Fasan; the Palazzo Bernardo on a side canal near S. Polo, a. late central Gothic building (1380-1400) which Ruskin describes as "of the finest kind and superb in its effect of colour when seen from the side. Taken as a whole, after the ducal palace this is the noblest effect of all in Venice."
Early Renaissance.—Towards the close of the 15th century Venetian architecture began to feel the influence of the classical revival; but, lying far from Rome and retaining .still her connexion with the East, Venice did not fall under the sway of the classical ideals either so quickly or so completely as most Italian cities. Indeed, in this as in the earlier styles, Venice struck out a line for herself and developed a style of her own, known as Lombardesque, after the family of the Lombardi (Solari) who came from Carona on the Lake of Lugano and may be said to have created it.
between Venetian Gothic and full Renaissance. We find it retaining some traces of Byzantine influence in the decorated surfaces of applied marbles, and in the roundels of porphyry and verd antique, while it also retained certain characteristics of Gothic, as, for instance, in the pointed arches of the Renaissance facade in the courtfyard of the ducal palace designed by .Antonio Rizzo (1499). Special notes of the style are the central grouping of the windows, leavingcomparatively solid spaces on each side, which gives the effect of
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the comparative flatness of the facades; the employment of a cornice to each storey; the effect of light and shade given by thebalconies; and in churches by the circular pediments on the facades.
The most perfect example of this style in ecclesiastical architecture is the little church of the Miracoli' built by Pietro Lombardo in 1480. The church is without aisles, and Churches. has a semicircular roof, and the choir is raised twelve steps above the floor of the nave. The walls, both internally and externally, are encrusted with marbles. The facade has the characteristic circular pediment with a large West window surrounded by three smaller windows separated by two ornamental roundels in coloured marble and of geometric design. Below the pediment comes an arcade, with flat pilasters, which runs all round the exterior of the church. Two of the bays contain round-headed windows; the other three are filled in with white marble adorned by crosses and' roundels in coloured marble. The lower order contains the flat, pilaster ed portal with two panelled spaces on each side.
Scuola di San Marco, at SS. Giovanni e Paolo, which has six semicircular pediments of varying size crowning the six bays, in the upper order of which are four noble Romanesque windows; The lower order contains the handsome portal with a semicircular pediment, while four of the remaining bays are filled with quaint scenes in surprisingly skilful perspective. The facade of San Zaccana (1457-1515), the stately design of Anton Marco Gambello and Mauro Coducci, offers some slight modifications in the use of the semicircular pediment, the line of the aisle roof being indicated by quarter-circle pediments abutting on the facade of the nave. San Salvadore, the work of Tullio Lombardo (1530), is severer and less highly ornamented than the preceding examples, but its plan is singularly impressive, giving the effect of great space in a comparatively small area. In this connexion we must mention the Scuola of S. Giovanni Evangelista at the Frari, with its fore-court and screen adorned by pilasters delicately decorated with foliage in low relief, and its noble staircase whose double flights unite on a landing under a shallow cupola. This also was the work of PietroLombardo and his son Tullio.
Early Renaissance palaces occur frequently in Venice and form a pleasing contrast with those in the Gothic style. The Palazzo Dario With its dedication, Urbis genio, the Palaces. superb Manzoni-Montecuculi-Polignac, with its friezes of spread-eagles in low relief, and the Vendramini-Calergi or Non nobis palace, whose facade is characterized by its round headed windows of grouped twin lights between columns, are among the more important; though beautiful specimens, such as the Palazzo Trevisan on the Rio della Paglia, and the Palazzo Corner Reali at the Fava, are to be found all over the city.
Later Renaissance.-When we come to the fully developed Renaissance, architecture in Venice ceases to possess that peculiarly individual imprint which marks the earlier Library of San Marco. styles. It is still characterized by great splendour; indeed, the library of San Marco, built by Jacopo Sansovino in 1536, is justly considered the most sumptuous example of Renaissance architecture in the world., It is rich, ornate, yet hardly florid, distinguished by splendid effects of light and shade, obtained by a far bolder use of projections than had hitherto been found in the somewhat flat design of Venetian facades. The columned, round-headed windows are set in deeply between the pillars which carry the massive entablature, and this again is surmounted by a balustrade with obelisks at each angle and figures marking the line of each bay. The Istrian stone of which the edifice is built has taken a fine patina, which makes the whole look like some richly embossed casket in oxidized silver.
The full meaning of the change which had come over Venetian architecture, of the gulf which lies between the early Lombardesque style, so purely characteristic of Venice, and the 'fully developed classical revival, which now assumed undisputed. sway, may best be grasped by comparing the old and the new Procuratie. Not more than eighty years separate these two buildings; the old Procuratie were built by Bartolomeo Buono about 1500, the new by, Scamozzi in 1580, yet it is clear that each belongs to an entirely different world of artistic ideas. The Procuratie Vecchie is perhaps the longest arcaded facade in the world and certainly shows the least amount of wall space; the whole design is simple, the moulding and ornamentation severe. The Procuratie Nuove, which after all is merely Scamozzifs continuation of Sansovino's library, displays all the richness of that ornate building.,
designed by Sansovino, and destroyed at the beginning of the 19th century to make room for the ball-room built by Napoleon for Eugene Beauharnais. The churches of San Giorgio Churches. Maggiore and of the Redentore, a votive church for liberation from the plague, are both by Palladio. In 1632 Baldassare Longhena built the fine church of Santa Maria della Salute, also a votive church, erected by the state to commemorate the cessation of the plague of 1630. This noble pile, with a large and handsome dome, a secondary cupola over the altar, and a striking portal and flight of steps, occupies one of the most conspicuous sites in Venice on the point of land that separates the mouth of the Guidecca from the Grand Canal. In plan it is an octagon with chapels projecting one on each side. The volute buttresses, each crowned wit a statue, add quaintly but happily to the general effect. After Longhena's date church architecture in Venice declined upon the dubious taste of baroque; the facades of San Moise and of Santa Maria del' Giglioare good specimens of this style.
grandiose though frigid in design. The more remarkable are Sansovino's Palazzo Corner, Longhena's massive and imposing Palazzo Pesaro, the Palazzo Rezzonico, from Palaces. designs by Longhena with the third storey added by Massari, Sammicheli's Palazzo Corner at San Polo, and Massari's well-proportionedand dignified Palazzo Grassi at San Samuele, built in 1740.
Modern Buildings:—In recent times the general prosperity of the city, which is on the ascendant, has brought about a revival of domestic and civic architecture. The architects Rupolo and Sardi have erected a considerable number of buildings, in which they have attempted, and with considerable success, to return either to Venetian Gothic or to the early Renaissance Lombardesque style. The most striking of these modern buildings are the new wing of the Hotel d'Italie, San Moise, and the very successful fish market at Rialto, designed by Laurenti and carried out by Rupolo, in which a happy return to early Venetian Gothic has been effected in conjunction with a skilful adaptation of one of the most famous of the old houses of Venice, the Stalon, or palace of the Quirini family.
Gild Halls.—Among the most remarkable buildings in Venice are the scuole, or gild halls, of the various confraternities. They were pious foundations created for mutual benefit and for purposes of charity. The scuole were divided into the six scuole grandi, so called from their numbers; wealth and privileges, and the scuole minori or fraglie, which in most cases were associated with an art or craft. The scuole minori were usually attached to some church in the quarter where the particular trade flourished. They had their special altar dedicated to the patron of the gild, a private burying place, and a room in which they held their chapter. The six scuole grandi, San Teodoro, S. Maria della Carita, S. Giovanni Evangelista, San Marco, della Misericordia and San Rocco, on the other hand, built themselves magnificent gild halls. We have already mentioned two of these, the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista and the Scuola di San Marco, both of them masterpieces of the Lombardesque style. The Scuola di San Marco is now a part of the town hospital, and besides its facade, already described, it is remarkable for the handsome carved ceiling in the main hall (1463). Other beautiful ceilings are to be found in the great hall and the hall of the Albergo in the Scuola della Carita, now the Accademia. They are the work of Marco Cozzi of Vicenza and were executed between 1461, and-1464. The design of the former is a trellis crossing the ceiling diagonally; in each of the lacunae is carved a cherubim with eight wings; the figures and the trellis are. gilded; the ground is a rich ultramarine. But the most magnificent of these gild halls is the Scuola di San Rocco, designed by Bartolomeo Buono in 1517 and carried out by Scarpagnino and] Sante Lombardo. The facade on the Campo is large and pure in conception. The great staircase and the lower and upper halls contain the unrivalled series of paintings by Tintoretto, which called forth such unbounded enthusiasm on the part of Ruskin.
Campanili.—Among the more striking features of Venice we must reckon the campanile or bell-towers (see Campanile). These were at one time more numerous than at the present day; earthquakes and subsidence of foundations have brought many of them down, the latest to fall being the great tower of San Marco itself, which collapsed on July 14th, 1902. Its reconstruction was at once undertaken, and completed in 1910. In a few other cases, for example at San Giorgio Maggiore, the fallen campanile were restored; but for the most part they were not replaced. The Venetian campanile usually stands detached from the church. It is almost invariably square; the only examples of round campanile in this part of Italy are to be found at Ravenna and at Caorle to the east of Venice; while inside Venice itself the solitary exception to the square plan was the campanile of San Paternian, built in 999 and now demolished, which was a hexagon. The campanile is usually a plain brick shaft with shallow pilasters running up the faces. It has small angle-windows to light the interior inclined plane or staircase, and is not broken into storeys with grouped windows as in the case of the Lombard bell-towers. Above the shaft comes the arcaded bell-chamber, frequently built of Istrian stone; and above that again the attic, either round or square or octagonal, carrying either a cone or a pyramid or a cupola, sometimes surmounted by a cross or a gilded angel which serves as a weathercock. Cressets used to be kept burning at night on some of the campanile to serve as beacons for those at sea. Among the existing campanile the oldest are San Geremia, dating from the 11th century, San Samuele from the 12th, San Barnaba and San' Zaccaria from the 13th. The cam anile of S. Giovanni Elemosinario at Rialto (1398-1400) is called) by Ruskin "the most interesting piece of central Gothic remaining comparatively intact in Venice."
Public Monuments.—Venetian sculpture is for the most part ancillary to architecture; for example, Antonio Rizzo's “Adam” and “Eve" (1464), which face the giants'-staircase in the ducal palace, are parts of the decorative scheme; Sansovino's splendid monument to Tomaso Rangone is an essential feature of the facade of San Giuliano. The most successful Venetian sculpture is to be found in the many noble sepulchral private monuments. The jealousy of the Venetian republic forbade the erection of monuments to her great men. The sole exception is the superb equestrian statue in honour of the General Bartolomeo Colleoni, which stands on the Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo. By his will Colleoni left his vast fortune to Venice on condition that a monument should be raised to him at St Mark's. He meant the great piazza, but by a quibble the republic evaded the concession of so unique an honour and claimed to have fulfilled the conditions of the bequest by erecting the monument at the Scuola of St Mark. The republic entrusted the work to the Florentine Verrocchio, who dying before the statue was completed begged the government to allow his pupil Lorenzo di Credi to carry it to a conclusion. The Venetians, however, called in Alessandro Leopardi, who cast the great equestrian group and added the pure and graceful pedestal. The monument was unveiled on the 21st of March 1496. Leopardo was also the creator (1505) of the three handsome bronze sockets in front of St Mark's which held the flagstaffs of the banners of Cyprus, Morea and Crete, when the republic was mistress of those territories.
By the side of the sea in the piazzetta, on to which the west facade of the ducal palace faces, stand two ancient columns of Egyptian granite, one red and the other grey. These great monoliths were brought as trophies to Venice by Doge Domenico Michieli in 1126, after his victories in Syria. In 1180 they were set up with their present fine capitals and bases by a Lombard engineer, Niccolo de Barattieri. The grey column is surmounted by a fine bronze lion of Byzantine style, cast in Venice for Doge Ziani about 1178 (this was carried off to Paris by Napoleon in 1797, and sent back in pieces in 1816; but in 1893 it was put together again); and in 1329 a marble statue of St Theodore, standing upon a crocodile, was placed on the other column. Among modern monuments the most successful is that to Goldoni at San Bartolomeo near the Rialto. It is the work of the sculptor dal Zotto.
Institutions.—Perhaps the most famous institution of Venice is the arsenal, whose history and activity has continued unbroken from the earliest days of the republic down to the present time. The arsenal was founded about the year 1104 by the doge The arsenal. Ordelap Falier. Before that date Venetian shipping was built at the spot near the piazzetta, known as the terra nova, where the royal gardens now are. The arsenal, which was famous in Dante's day, received its first enlargement in 1304, when, on the design of Andrea Pisano, new building sheds and the rope walk. or Tana were erected. Pisano's building sheds, nine in a row, with peculiarly shaped roofs, were still standing intact—one of the most interesting medieval monuments of Venice—until recently, but they have been modified past recognition. In 1325 the second addition, the arsenale nuovo, was made, and a third, the arsenale nuovissimo in 1473; a fourth, the Riparto delle Galeazze, about 1539; and in 1564 the fifth enlargement, the Canal delle Galeazze e Vasca, took place. After the fall of the republic the arsenal continued to occupy the attention of the various governments. In 1810 the site of the suppressed convent and church of the Celestia was added. The entire circuit of the arsenal, about two miles in extent, is protected by a lofty wall with turrets. The main door of the arsenal is the first example in Venice of the purely classical style. It is a noble portal, erected in 1460, apparently from designs by Fra Giocondo, with the lion of St Mark in, the attic. The statuary, with Sta Giustina on the summit of the tympanum, was added, in 1571 and 1578. The whole design was modified in 1688 so as to represent a triumphal arch in honour of Morosini Peloponnesiaco, who brought from Athens to Venice the four lions in Pentelic marble which now stand before the gate. (On the largest of these lions is cut a runic inscription recording an attack on the Piraeus in the 11th century by Norse warriors of the Varangian guard, under Harold Hardrada, afterwards—1047—king of Norway.) The arsenal suffered frequently and severely from tires, the worst being those of 1509 and 1569; yet such was the wealth of Venice that in the following year she put upon the seas the fleet that crushed the Turks at Lepanto in 1571.
The Lido, which lies about 2 m. S.E. of Venice and divides the lagoon from the sea, is rapidly becoming a fashionable bathing-place. The point of San Nicolo del Lido is strongly fortified to The Lido. protect the new entrance to the port (see harbour). Inside the fortress lies the old Protestant burying-ground, with tombs of Sackville, of John Murray, of Sir Francis Vincent, last ambassador but one from Great Britain to the republic, of Consul Smith, whose collection of books forms the nucleus of the Kings library in the British Museum, and of Catherine Tofts, the singer, Smith's first wife. At Sant' Elisabetta is the bathing establishment.
Libraries.—The library of San Marco contains upwards of 35,000 printed volumes and about 10,000 manuscripts; The library is said to owe its origin to Petrarch's donation of his books to the republic. Most of these have now disappeared. In 1635 Fra Fortunato Olmo found in a room over the great door of St Mark's a number of books which he supposed to be Petrarch's gift. He sent a list to Tomasini, who published it in his Petrarca Redivivus (Patavii, 1635). These codices passed to the Marciana, and Zanetti catalogued them as the Fonda antico. It is very doubtful whether these books really belonged to Petrarch. We may date the true foundation of the library to the donation of Cardinal Bessarion. Bessarion had intended to bequeath his books to the Benedictines of San Giorgio Maggiore, but Pietro Morosini, Venetian ambassador at Rome, pointed out the inconvenience of housing his library on an island that could not easily be reached. The cardinal therefore obtained a bull from Pope Paul II., permitting him to recall his original donation, and in a letter dated from' the baths of Viterbo, May 13th, 1468, he made over his library to the republic. The principal treasures of the collection, including] splendid Byzantine book-covers, the priceless codices of Homer, the Grimani Breviary, an early Dante, &c., are exhibited under cases in the Sala Bessarione in the Zecca or mint where the library has been installed. Another library was left to the public by the munificence of Count Quirini-Stampalia, who bequeathed his collections and his house at Santa Maria Formosa to be held in trust for students. The state archives are housed in the Franciscan monastery at the Frari. They contain the voluminous and invaluable records of the Venetian republic, diplomatic, judicial, commercial, notarial, &c. Under the republic the various departments of state stored their records in various buildings, at the ducal palace, at the Scuola di San Teodoro, at the Camerlenghi. The Austrian government gathered all these into one building and arranged the vast masses of papers in fairly convenient order. Though the state papers of Venice have suffered from fire and the series begins comparatively late, yet their fullness and the world-wide sweep of Venetian interests render this collection an inexhaustible storehouse of data for students. Among other learned institutions we may mention the Ateneo Veneto, the Deputazione per la Storia Patria, and the Royal Institute of Science, Letters and Art, which has its seat in the Palazzo Loredan at Santo Stefano.
Harbour.—Under the republic commercial shipping used to enter Venice by the port of San Nicolo del Lido and lie along the quay called the Riva degli Schiavoni, in the basin of San Marco, and up the broad Giudecca Canal. But with the decline of Venice the trade of the port fell off; the mouth of the Lido entrance became gradually silted up owing to the joint action of the tide and the current, and for many years complete stagnation characterized the port. Under Austrian rule a revival began, which has been continued and intensified since Venice became part of united Italy. When the railway bridge brought Venice into touch with the mainland and the rest of Europe, it became necessary to do something to reopen the harbour to larger shipping. The Austrians, abandoning the nearer Lido entrance to the lagoons, resolved to deepen and keep open the Malamocco entrance. This is 8 m. distant from Venice, and can only be reached by a long and tortuous channel across the lagoon, whose course is marked out by those groups of piles which are so characteristic a feature 'of the lagoon landscape. The channel required constant dredging and was altogether inconvenient; yet for many years it remained the main sea approach to Venice. A dock was constructed at the western or fart er end of the Giudecca Canal, near the railway. The unification of Italy, the growing prosperity of the country, above all the opening of the Suez Canal, which restored to Venice the full value of her position as the port farthest into the heart of Europe, brought about an immense expansion of trade. The government accordingly resolved to reopen the Lido entrance to the lagoon, and thus to afford a shorter and more commodious access from the sea. As at the Malamocco entrance so at the Lido, two moles were run out in a south-westerly direction; the westerly is about 2 m., the easterly about 3 m. in length. The natural scour thus created has given a depth of 26 ft. of water through the sand-bank. The mean rise and fall of the tide is about 2 ft., but under certain conditions of wind the variation amounts to 5, ft. and over. The health of the city depends, of course, to a large extent on this ebb and flow. The government also turned its attention to the inadequate accommodation at the docks, and proposals for a new quay on the western side of the present basin, and for a second basin 900 yds. long and 170 yds. wide, were the result.
Trade.—A comparison between the exports and imports of the years 1886 and 1905 will give an exact idea of the rate at which the port of Venice developed. In 1886 the total value of exports to foreign countries amounted to £7,239,479; of imports, £8,788,012. In 1905 the exports to foreign countries valued £11,650,932, the imports £13,659,306. As has been the case throughout her history, the trade of Venice is still mainly a transit trade. Wheat, coal, cotton, petroleum, wood, lime and cement are brought into Venice for shipment to the Levant or for distribution over Italy and Europe.
Venice became very celebrated in the 15th century for textiles. Its damasks and other silk stuffs with patterns of extraordinary beauty surpassed in variety and splendour those of the other chief centres of silk-weaving, such as Florence and Genoa. In addition to the native stuffs, an immense quantity of costly Oriental carpets, wall-hangings and other textiles was imported into Venice, partly for its own use, and partly for export throughout western Europe. On occasions of festivals or pageants the balconies, the bridges, the boats, and even the facades of the houses, were hung with rich Eastern carpets or patterned textiles in gold and coloured silk. The glass manufactory of Murano (q.v.), a small island about 1½ m. to the north of Venice, was a great source of revenue to the republic. Glass drinking cups and ornamental vessels, some decorate with enamel painting, and "silvered" mirrors were produced in great quantities from the 14th century downwards, and exported. Like many other arts in Venice, that of glass-making appears to have been imported from Moslem countries, and the influence of Oriental design can be traced in much of the Venetian glass. The art of making stained glass windows was not practised by the Venetians; almost the only fine glass in Venice is that in a south transept window in the Dominican church, which, though designed by able Venetian painters, is obviously the work of foreigners.
The ancient glass-bead industry (conterie), which some years since suffered severely from over-production, has now regained its position through the union of the different factories, by which the output is controlled in such a way as to render trade profitable. Venetian beads are now sent in large quantities to the various colonies in Africa, and to India, Sumatra and Borneo. Similarly, the glass industry has revived. New amalgams and methods of colouring have been discovered, and fresh forms have been diligently studied. Special progress has.been made in the production of mirrors, electric lamps, candelabra and mosaics. New industries are those of tapestry, brocades, imitation of ancient stuffs, cloth of silver and gold, and Venetian laces. The secret of lace-making was believed to have been lost, but the late Signor Fambri discovered at Chioggia an old woman who knew it, and placed her at the head of a lace school. Fambri was ruined by his enterprise, but other manufacturers, more expert than he, drew profit from his initiative, and founded flourishing factories at Pellestrina and Burano. Other important industries are wood-carving (of an artistic excellence long unknown), artistic iron-working, jewelling, bronze-casting, the production of steam-engines, machinery, matches (largely exported to Turkey, Egypt, Russia., 'Austria-Hungary and Greece), clock-making, wool-weaving and the manufacture of chemical manures.
Population.—In 1548 the population of Venice numbered 158,069; in 1607-29, 142,804; in 1706, 140,256; in 1785, 139,095; in 1881, 132,826. The municipal bulletin of the 31st of December 1906 gives a total of 169,563, not including 4835 soldiers.
Administration.—Venice is administered by a prefect representing the crown and responsible to the central government at Rome, from whom he receives orders. Under his cognizance come questions of public order, health and elections to parliament. The two arms of the police, the Carabinieri and the Publica. Sicurezza, are at his disposal. Purely local matters, however, are in the hands of the municipio or town council. At the head of the town council is the Sindaco or mayor, elected by the council itself.
Under the republic, and until modern times, the water supply of Venice was furnished by the storage of rain-water supplemented by water brought from the Brenta in boats. The famous Venetian pozzi, or wells for storing rain-water from the roofs and streets, consisted of a closed basin with a water-tight stratum of clay at the bottom, upon which a slab of stone was laid; a brick shaft of radiating bricks laid in a permeable jointing material of clay and sand was then built. At some distance from the shaft a square water-tight, wall was built, and the space between it and the shaft was filled in with sand, which was purified of all saline matter by repeated washings; on the ground-level perforated stones set at the four corners of the basin admitted the rain-water, which was discharged from the roofs by lead pipes; this water filtered through the sand and percolated into the shaft of the well, whence it was drawn in copper buckets. The present water supply, introduced in 1884, is brought from the commune of Trebaseleghe, where it is collected from 120 artesian wells. It is carried under the lagoon to Sant' Andrea, where the reservoirs are placed.
Of the 19,000 houses in Venice only 6000 have drains and sinks, all the others discharge sewage through pipes directly or indirectly into the canals. With the rise and fall of the tide the discharge, pipes are flushed at the bottom. An important investigation undertaken by the Bacterioscopical Laboratory, with regard to the pollution of the Venetian canals by the city sewage, led to the discovery that the water of the lagoons possesses auto-purifying power, not only in the large canals but even in the smallest ramifications of the waterways. The investigation was carried out with scrupulous scientific rigour upon samples of water taken in every part of the city, at all states of the tide and under various atmospheric conditions.
The church is ruled by the patriarch of Venice, the metropolitan of the province formed by the Veneto. The patriarch of Venice is usually raised to the purple. The patriarchate dates from 1451, when on the death of Domenico Michiel, patriarch of Grado, the seat of that honour was transferred from desolate and insalubrious Grado to the cathedral church of Castello in Venice, and Michiel's successor, Lorenzo Giustinian, assumed the title of patriarch .of Venice. On the fall of the republic St Mark's became the cathedral church' of the patriarch. There are thirty parishes in the city of Venice and fifteen in the lagoon islands and on the littoral.
In recent times there has been a good deal of activity in Venice in regard to the preservation of its artistic and architectural treasures. Some of the earlier activity was unfortunately misplaced. St Mark's suffered on two occasions: first during the restoration of the north facade in 1843, and again during that of the south facade, begun in 1865 and finished in 1878. The latter façade was completely reconstructed upon 2200 piles driven to great depths, with the result that the general harmony of the monument—the effect of time and of atmospheric conditions—was completely lost. A lively agitation all over Europe, and particularly in England (conducted by Ruskin and William Morris), led the Italian government to discard the Austrian plan of restoration, at least as regards the interior of the Basilica, and to respect the ancient portions which had stood the test of time and had escaped "renewal" by man. In 1880 a Vigilance Committee was appointed to watch over the restoration of the interior. The committee secured much verde antico and porphyry for the restoration of the pavement, in place of the common marbles which it had been intended to use, and organized special workshops for the restoration and preservation of the ancient mosaics, which it had been intended to detach and replace. Pieces already detached were restored to their original positions, and those blackened by damp and dust were carefully cleaned. Breaks were filled up with cubes obtained from fragments of contemporary mosaics previously demolished. In this way the mosaics of the two arches of the atrium and those of the Zeno chapel were cleaned and preserved.
Contemporaneously with the restoration of the southern facade of St Mark's, the restoration of the colonnade of the ducal palace towards the Piazzetta and the Mole was undertaken at a cost of £23,000. The chief work was executed at the south-west angle, where the columns of the arcade had become so broken and distorted as to menace the safety of the whole building. The corner towards the Ponte della Puglia was also restored, and the hideous device of walling up the five last arches, adopted in the 16th century by the architect Da Ponte, was removed without prejudice to the stability of the structure. In order to lighten the palace the Venetian Institute of Science, Letters and Arts removed its headquarters and its natural history collection to Santo Stefano. For the same reason the Biblioteca Marciana with its 350,000 volumes was moved to the Old Mint, opposite the ducal palace. The space thus cleared has been used for the rearrangement of the Archaeological and Artistic Museum. Side by side with these changes has proceeded the reorganization of the Royal Gallery of Ancient Art, which, created by Napoleon I. for the students of the adjoining Academy of Fine Arts, gradually acquired such importance that in 1882 the government divided it from the academy and rendered it autonomous. The gallery now constitutes a unique collection of Venetian paintings from the most ancient artists down to Tiepolo, one hall only being reserved for other Italian schools and one for foreign schools. Altogether the gallery contains twenty rooms, one being assigned to the complete cycle of the "History of Saint Ursula," by Carpaccio; another to Giambellino and to the Celliniani; and a whole wall of a third being occupied by the famous Veronese, "Il Convito in casa di Levi." Titian's "Presentazione al Tempio," painted for the Scuola della Carita, which is now the seat of the gallery, has been placed in its original position. The hall of the Assumption has been left untouched. Nineteenth-century pictures have been eliminated as foreign to the character of the collection, and inferior works relegated to a side passage. The reorganization of the Archaeological and Artistic Museum and of the Royal Gallery of Ancient Art coincided with the inauguration in April 1895 of a series of biennial International Art Exhibitions, arranged in order to celebrate the silver wedding of the king and queen of Italy. A special brick structure was erected in the public gardens to receive the works of contemporary artists, both Italian and foreign. The selection of works was made by an international jury from which Venetian artists were excluded. The second exhibition, visited by 336,500 persons, was held in 1897, and a third in 1899. The success of this exhibition (visited by 407,930 persons) led to the organization of a fourth exhibition in 1901, largely devoted to the works of Ruskin. The institution of these exhibitions furnished Prince Giovanelli with an opportunity to found at Venice a Gallery of Modern Art, for which a home was found in the Palazzo Pesaro, bequeathed to the city by Princess Bevilacqua la Masa.
History.—It is usually affirmed that the state of Venice owes its origin to the barbarian invasions of north Italy; that it was founded by refugees from the mainland cities who sought asylum from the Huns in the impregnable shallows and mud banks of the lagoons; and that the year 452, the year when Attila sacked Aquileia, may be taken as the birth-year of Venice. That is true in a measure. Venice, like Rome and other famous cities, was an asylum city. But it is nearly certain that long before Attila and his Huns swept down upon the Venetian plain the little islands of the lagoon already had a population of poor but hardy fisherfolk living in quasi-independence, thanks to their poverty and their inaccessible site. This population was augmented from time to time by refugees from the mainland cities of Aquileia, Concordia, Opitergium Altinum and Patavium. But these did not mingle readily with the indigenous population; as each wave of barbarian invasion fell back, these refugees returned to their mainland homes, and it required the pressure of many successive incursions to induce them finally to abandon the mainland for the lagoon, a decision which was not reached till the Lombard invasion of 568. On each occasion, no doubt, some of the refugees remained behind in the islands, and gradually built and peopled the twelve lagoon townships, which formed the germ of the state of Venice and were subsequently concentrated at Rialto or in the city we now know as Venice. These twelve townships were Grado, Bibione, Caorle, Jesolo, Heraclea, Torcello, Murano, Rialto, Malamocco, Poveglia, Chioggia and Sottomarina. The effect of the final Lombard invasion is shown by the resolve to quit the mainland and the rapid building of churches which is recorded by the Cronaca altinate. The people who finally abandoned the mainland and took their priests with them are the people who made the Venetian republic. But they were not as yet a homogeneous population. The rivalries of the mainland cities were continued at closer quarters inside the narrow circuit of the lagoons, and there was, moreover, the initial schism between the indigenous fisher population and the town-bred refugees, and these facts constitute the first of the problems which now affronted the growing community: the internal problem of fusion and development. The second problem of prime importance was the external problem of independence. The early history of the republic is chiefly concerned with the solution of these two problems.
To take the problem of independence first. There is little doubt that the original lagoon population depended for its administration, as far as it had any, upon the larger cities of the mainland. There is a tradition that Venice was founded by "consuls from Padua"; and Padua claimed complete control of the course of the Brenta down to its mouth at Malamocco. The destruction of the mainland cities, and the flight of their leading inhabitants to the lagoons, encouraged the lagoon population to assert a growing independence, and led them to advance the doctrine that they were "born independent." Their development as a maritime people, engaged in small trading and intimately acquainted with their home waters, led Belisarius to seek their help in his task of recovering Italy from the Goths. He was successful; and the lagoons became, theoretically at least, a part of the Eastern empire. But the empire was vast and weak, and its capital lay far away; in practice, no doubt, the lagoon population enjoyed virtual independence, though later the Byzantine claim to suzerainty became one of the leading factors in the formation of the state. It was from Byzantium that the Venetian people received the first recognition of their existence as a separate community. Their maritime importance compelled Narses, the imperial commander, to seek their aid in transporting his army from Grado; and when the Paduans appealed to the Eunuch to restore their rights over the Brenta, the Venetians replied by declaring that islands of the lagoon and the river mouths that fell into the estuary were the property of those who had rendered them habitable and serviceable. Narses declined to intervene, Padua was powerless to enforce its claims and Venice established a virtual independence of the mainland. Nor was it long before Venice made a similar assertion to the imperial representative, Longinus. He was endeavouring to treat with Alboin and the Lombards, and desired to assure himself of Venetian support. He invited the Venetians to give him an escort to Constantinople, which they did, and also to acknowledge themselves subjects of the empire. But they replied that "God who is our help and protector has saved us that we might dwell upon these waters. This second Venice which we have raised in the lagoons is our mighty habitation; no power of emperor or of prince can touch us." That was an explicit statement of Venetian aims and contentions: the place and people had made each other and now belonged exclusively to each other. Longinus admitted that the Venetians were indeed "a great people with a strong habitation"; but by dint of promising large concessions and trading privileges, he induced the Venetians to make an act of submission—though not upon oath. The terms of this pact resulted in the first diploma conferred on Venice as a separate community (584). But it was inevitable that, when the barbarians, Lombard or Frank, were once established on the mainland of Italy, Venice should be brought first into trading and then into political relations with their near neighbours, who as masters of Italy also put forward a claim to sovereignty in the lagoons. It is between the two claims of east and west that Venice struggled for and achieved recognized independence.
Turning to the other problem, that of internal fusion and consolidation, we find that in 466, fourteen years after the fall of Aquileia, the population of the twelve lagoon townships met at Grado for the election of one tribune from each island for the better government of the separate communities, and above all to put an end to rivalries which had already begun to play a disintegrating part. But when the lagoon population was largely augmented in 568 as the result of Alboin's invasion, these jealousies were accentuated, and in 584 it was found expedient to appoint twelve other tribunes, known as the Tribuni Majores, who formed a kind of central committee to deal with all matters affecting the general weal of the lagoon communities. But the Tribuni Majores were equally powerless to allay the jealousies of the growing townships which formed the lagoon community. Rivalry in fishing and in trading, coupled with ancient antipathies inherited from the various mainland cities of origin, were no doubt the cause of these internecine feuds. A crisis was reached when Christopher, patriarch of Grado, convened the people of the lagoon at Heraclea, and urged them to suppress the twelve tribunes and to choose a single head of the state. To this they agreed, and in 697 Venice elected her first doge, Paulo Lucio Anafesto.
The growing importance of the lagoon townships, owing to their maritime skill, their expanding trade, created by their position between east and west, their monopoly of salt and salted fish, which gave them a strong position in the mainland markets, rendered it inevitable that a clash must come over the question of independence, when either east or west should claim that Venice belonged to them; and inside the lagoons the growing prosperity, coupled with the external threat to their liberties, concentrated the population into two well-defined parties—what may be called the aristocratic party, because it leaned towards imperial Byzantium and also displayed a tendency to make the dogeship hereditary, and the democratic party, connected with the original population of the lagoons, aspiring to free institutions, and consequently leaning more towards the church and the Frankish kingdom which protected the church. The aristocratic party was captained by the township of Heraclea, which had given the first doge, Anafesto, to the newly formed community. The democratic party was championed first by Jesolo and then by Malamocco.
The advent of the Franks determined the final solution. The emperor Leo, the Isaurian, came to open rupture with Pope Gregory II. over the question of images. The pope appealed to Liutprand, the powerful king of the Lombards, to attack the imperial possessions in Ravenna. He did so, and expelled the exarch Paul, who took refuge in Venice and was restored to his post by the doge of the Heraclean or Byzantine party, Orso, who in return for this assistance received the imperial title of hypatos, and trading rights in Ravenna. The pope, however, soon had cause for alarm at the spread of the Lombard power which he had encouraged. Liutprand proceeded to occupy territory in the Ducato Romano. The pope, looking about for a saviour, cast his eyes on Charles Martel, whose victory at Tours had riveted the attention of the world. Charles's son, Pippin, was crowned king of Italy, entered the peninsula at the head of the Franks, defeated the Lombards, took Ravenna and presented it to the pope, while retaining a feudal superiority. Desiderius, the last Lombard king, endeavoured to recover Ravenna. Charlemagne, Pippin's son, descended upon Italy, broke up the Lombard kingdom (774), confirmed his father's donation to the pope, and in reprisals for Venetian assistance to the exarch, ordered the pope to expel the Venetians from the Pentapolis. Venice was now brought face to face with the Franks under their powerful sovereign, who soon showed that he intended to claim the lagoons as part of his new kingdom. In Venice the result of this menace was a decided reaction towards Byzantium. In opposition to the Frankish claim, Venice resolved to affirm her dependence on the Eastern empire. But the democratic party, the Frankish party in Venice, was powerful. Feeling ran high. A crisis was rapidly approaching. The Byzantine Doge Giovanni Galbaio attacked Grado, the see of the Francophil Patriarch Giovanni, captured it, and flung the bishop from the tower of his palace. But the murdered patriarch was succeeded by his no less Francophil nephew Fortunatus, a strong partisan, a restless and indomitable man, who along with Obelerio of Malamocco now assumed the lead of the democratic party. He and his followers plotted the murder of the doge, were discovered, and sought safety at the court of Charlemagne, where Fortunatus strongly urged the Franks to attack the lagoons.
Meantime the internal politics of Venice had been steadily preparing the way for the approaching fusion at Rialto. The period from the election of the first doge to the appearance of the Franks was characterized by fierce struggles between Heraclea and Jesolo. At length the whole population agreed to fix their capital at Malamocco, a compromise between the two incompatible parties, marking an important step towards final fusion at Rialto.
That central event of early Venetian history was reached when Pippin resolved to make good his title as king of Italy. He turned his attention to the lagoon of Venice, which had been steadily growing in commercial and maritime importance, and had, on the whole, shown a sympathy for Byzantium rather than for the Franks. Pippin determined to subdue the lagoons. He gathered a fleet at Ravenna, captured Chioggia, and pushed on up the Lido towards the capital of the lagoons at Malamocco. But the Venetians, in face of the danger, once more removed their capital, this time to Rialto, that group of islands we now call Venice, lying in mid-lagoon between the lidi and the mainland. This step was fatal to Pippin's designs. The intricate water-ways and the stubborn Venetian defence baffled all his attempts to reach Rialto; the summer heats came on; the Lido was unhealthy. Pippin was forced to retire. A treaty between Charlemagne and Nicephorus (81o) recognized the Venetians as subjects of the Eastern empire, while preserving to them the trading rights on the mainland of Italy which they had acquired under Liutprand.
The concentration at Rialto marks the beginning of the history of Venice as a full-grown state. The external menace to their independence had welded together the place and the people; the same pressure had brought about the fusion of the conflicting parties in the lagoon townships into one homogeneous whole. There was for the future one Venice and one Venetian people dwelling at Rialto, the city of compromise between the dangers from the mainland, exemplified by Attila and Alboin, and the perils from the sea, illustrated by Pippin's attack. The position of Venice was now assured. The state was a vassal of a weak and distant empire, which would leave it virtually free to pursue its own career; it was an independent tributary of a near and powerful kingdom with which it could trade, and trade between east and west became henceforth the note of its development.
The first doge elected in Rialto was Angelo Particiaco, a Heraclean noble, with a strong bias towards Byzantium, and his reign was signalized by the building of the first church of San Marco, and by the translation of the saint's body from Alexandria, as though to affirm and to symbolize the creation of united Venice.
The history of Venice during the next two hundred years is marked externally by the growth of the city, thanks to an ever-expanding trade, both down the Adriatic, which brought the republic into collision with the Dalmatian pirates and led to their final conquest, in 1000, by the doge Pietro Orseolo II., and also on the mainland, where Venice gradually acquired trading rights, partly by imperial diploma, partly by the establishment and the supply of markets on the mainland rivers, the Sile and the Brenta. Internally this period is characterized by the attempt of three powerful families, the Particiachi, the Candiani and the Orseoli, to create an hereditary dogeship, and the violent resistance offered by the people. We find seven of the Particiachi, five Candiani and three Orseoli reigning in almost unbroken succession, until, with the ostracism of the whole Orseolo family in 1032, the dynastic tendency was crushed for ever. During the same period we also note the development of certain families, thanks to the accumulation of wealth by trade, and here we get the beginnings of that commercial aristocracy whose evolution was the dominant factor in the constitutional history of the republic.
The growing wealth of Venice soon attracted the cupidity of her piratical neighbours on the coast of Dalmatia. The swift Liburnian vessels began to raid the Lido, compelling the Venetians to arm their own vessels and thus to form the nucleus of their famous fleet, the importance of which was recognized by the Golden Bull of the emperor Basil, which conferred on Venetian merchants privileges far more extensive than any they had hitherto enjoyed, on condition that the Venetian fleet was to be at the disposition of the emperor. But the Dalmatian raids continued to harass Venetian trade, till, in 1000, the great doge Pietro Orseolo II. attacked and captured Curzola and stormed the piratical stronghold of Lagosta, crushing the freebooters in their citadel. The doge assumed the title of duke of Dalmatia, and a great step was taken towards the supremacy of Venice in the Adriatic, which was essential to the free development of her commerce and also enabled her to reap the pecuniary advantages to be derived from the Crusades. She now commanded the route to the Holy Land and could supply the necessary transport, and from the Crusades her growing aristocracy reaped large profits. Orseolo's victory was commemorated and its significance affirmed by the magnificent symbolical ceremony of the "wedding of the sea" (Sposalizio del Mar), celebrated henceforward every Ascension day. The result of the first three Crusades was that Venice acquired trading rights, a Venetian quarter, church, market, bakery, &c., in many of the Levant cities, e.g. in Sidon (1102) and in Tyre (1123). The fall of Tyre marks a great advance in development of Venetian trade; the republic had now passed beyond the Adriatic, and had taken an important step towards that complete command of the Levant which she established after the Fourth Crusade.
This expansion of the trade of Venice resulted in the rapid development of the wealthier classes, with a growing tendency to draw together for the purpose of securing to themselves the entire direction of Venetian politics in order to dominate Venetian commerce. To achieve their object, a double line of conduct was imposed upon them: they had to absorb the powers of the doge, and also to deprive the people of the voice they possessed in the management of state affairs by their presence in the concione or general assembly of the whole community, which was still the fountain of all authority. The first step towards curtailing the power of the doge was taken in 1032, when the family of the Orseoli was finally expelled from Venice and the doge Domenico Flabianico was called to the throne. A law was then passed forbidding for the future the election of a doge-consort, a device by which the Particiachi, the Candiani and the Orseoli had each of them nearly succeeded in carrying out their dynastic ambitions. Further, two ducal councillors were appointed to assist the doge, and he was compelled, not merely permitted, to seek the advice of the more prominent citizens at moments of crisis. By this reform two important offices in the Venetian constitution—the privy council (consiglieri ducali) and the senate (the pregadi or invited)—came into being. Both were gradually developed on the lines desired by the aristocracy, till we reach the year 1171.
The growth of Venetian trade and wealth in the Levant roused the jealousy of Genoa and the hostility of the imperial court at Constantinople, where the Venetians are said to have numbered 200,000 and to have held a large quarter of the city in terror by their brawls. The emperor Manuel I., urged on by the Genoese and other rivals of Venice, seized the pretext. The Venetians were arrested and their goods confiscated. Popular feeling at Venice ran so high that the state was rashly swept into war with the empire. To provide the requisite funds for this vast undertaking, a forced loan of 1% on net incomes was raised; the money bore interest at the rate of 4%. The bonds were negotiable, and afford us the earliest instance of the issue of government stock. The doge Vitale Michiel II. led the expedition in person. It proved a disastrous failure, and on the return of the shattered remnants (1171) a great constitutional reform seemed necessary. The Venetians resolved to create a deliberative assembly, which should act with greater caution than the concione, which had just landed the state in a ruinous campaign. Forty members were elected in each of the six divisions of the city, giving a body of 480 members, who served for one year and on retiring named two deputies for each sestiere to nominate the council for the succeeding year. This was the germ of the great council, the Maggior Consiglio, which was rendered strictly oligarchic in 1296. As the duties of this council were to appoint all officers of state, including the doge, it is clear that by its creation the aristocracy had considerably curtailed the powers of the people, who had hitherto elected the doge in general assembly; and at the creation of Michiel's successor, Sebastiano Ziani (1172), the new doge was presented to the people merely for confirmation, not for election. The assembly protested, but was appeased by the empty formula, "This is your doge an it please you." Moreover, still further to limit the power of the doge, the number of ducal councillors was raised from two to six. In 1198, on the election of Enrico Dandolo, the aristocracy carried their policy one step farther, and by the promissione ducale, or coronation oath, which every doge was required to swear, they acquired a powerful weapon for the suppression of all that remained of ancient ducal authority. The promissione ducale was binding on the doge and his family, and could be, and frequently was, altered at each new election, a commission, Inquisitori sopra it doge def unto, being appointed to scrutinize the actions of the deceased doge and to add to the new oath whatever provisions they thought necessary to reduce the dogeship to the position of a mere figurehead in the state.
In spite of the check to their trade received from the emperor Manuel in 1171, Venetian commerce continued to flourish, the Venetian fleet to grow and the Venetians to amass wealth. When the Fourth Crusade was proclaimed at Soissons, it was to Venice that the leaders applied for transport, and she agreed to furnish transport for 4500 horses, 9000 knights, 20,000 foot, and provisions for one year: the price was 85,000 silver marks of Cologne and half of all conquests. But Zara and Dalmatia had revolted from Venice in 1166 and were as yet unsubdued. Venetian supremacy in the. Adriatic had been temporarily shaken. The 85,000 marks, the price of transport, were not forthcoming, and the Venetians declined to sail till they were paid. The doge Dandolo now saw an opportunity to benefit Venice. He offered to postpone the receipt of the money if the Crusaders would reduce Zara and Dalmatia for the republic. These terms were accepted. Zara was recovered, and while still at Zara the leaders of the Crusade, supported by Dandolo, resolved for their own private purposes to attack Constantinople, instead of making for the Holy Land. Boniface, marquis of Monferrat, desired to make good the claim to Salonica, and the Venetians doubtless wished to upset the Greek empire, which had recently shown itself so friendly to their rivals the Genoese. Constantinople fell (1204), thanks chiefly to the ability of the Venetians under Dandolo. The city was sacked, and a Latin empire, with Baldwin of Flanders as emperor, was established at Constantinople (see Roman Empire, Later). In the partition of the spoils Venice claimed and received, in her own phrase, "a half and a quarter of the Roman empire." To her fell the Cyclades, the Sporades, the islands and the eastern shores of the Adriatic, the shores of the Propontis and the Euxine, and the littoral of Thessaly, and she bought Crete from the marquis of Monferrat. The accession of territory was not only vast, it was of the highest importance to Venetian commerce. She now commanded the Adriatic, the Ionian islands, the archipelago, the Sea of Marmora and the Black Sea, the trade route between Constantinople and western Europe, and she had already established herself in the seaports of Syria, and thus held the trade route between Asia Minor and Europe. She was raised at once to the position of a European power. In order to hold these possessions, she borrowed from the Franks the feudal system, and granted fiefs in the Greek islands to her more powerful families, on condition that they held the trade route open for her. The expansion of commerce which resulted from the Fourth Crusade soon made itself evident in the city by a rapid development in its architecture and by a decided strengthening of the commercial aristocracy, which eventually led to the great constitutional reform—the closing of the Maggior Consiglio in 1296, whereby Venice became a rigid oligarchy. Externally this rapid success awoke the implacable hatred of Genoa, and led to the long and exhausting series of Genoese wars which ended at Chioggia in 1380.
The closing of the great council was, no doubt, mainly due to the slowly formed resolution on the part of the great commercial families to secure a monopoly in the Levant trade which the Fourth Crusade had placed definitely in their hands. The theory of the government, a theory expressed throughout the whole commercial career of the republic, the theory which made Venice a rigidly protective state, was that the Levant trade belonged solely to Venice and her citizens. No one but a Venetian citizen was permitted to share in the profits of that trade. But the population of Venice was growing rapidly, and citizenship was as yet undefined. To secure for themselves the command of trade the leading commercial families resolved to erect themselves into a close gild, which should have in its hands the sole direction of the business concern, the exploitation of the East. This policy took definite shape in 1297, when the Doge Pietro Gradenigo proposed and carried the following measure: the supreme court, the Quarantia, was called upon to ballot, one by one, the names of all who for the last four years had held a seat in the great council created in 1171. Those who received twelve favourable votes became members of the great council. A commission of three was appointed to submit further names for ballot. The three commissioners at once laid down a rule—which contains the essence of the act—that only those who could prove that a paternal ancestor had sat in the great council should be eligible for election. This measure divided the community into three great categories: (1) those who had never sat in the council themselves and whose ancestors had never sat; these were of course the vast majority of the population, and they were excluded for ever from the great council: (2) those whose paternal ancestors had sat in the council; these were eligible and were gradually admitted to a seat, their sons becoming eligible on majority: (3) those who were of the council at the passing of this act or had sat during the four preceding years; their sons likewise became eligible on attaining majority. As all offices were filled by the great council, exclusion meant political disfranchisement. A close caste was created which very seldom and very reluctantly admitted new members to its body. The Heralds' College, the avvogadori di comun, in order to ensure purity of blood, were ordered to open a register of all marriages and births among members of the newly created caste, and these registers formed the basis of the famous Libro d'oro.
The closing of the great council and the creation of the patrician caste brought about a revolution among those who suffered disfranchisement. In the year 1300 the people, led by Marin Bocconio, attempted to force their way into the great council and to reclaim their rights. The doors were opened, the ringleaders were admitted and immediately seized and hanged. Ten years later a more serious revolution, the only revolution that seriously shook the state, broke out and was also crushed. This conspiracy was championed by Bajamonte Tiepolo, and seems to have been an expression of patrician protest against the serrata, just as Bocconio's revolt had represented popular indignation. Tiepolo, followed by members of the Quirini family and many nobles with their followers, attempted to seize the Piazza on the 15th of June 1310. They were met by the Doge Pietro Gradenigo and crushed. Quirini was killed, and Tiepolo and his followers fled.
The chief importance of the Tiepoline conspiracy lies in the fact that it resulted in the establishment of the Council of Ten. Erected first as a temporary committee of public safety to hunt down the remnant of the conspirators and to keep a vigilant watch on Tiepolo's movements, it was finally made permanent in 1335. The secrecy of its deliberations and the rapidity with which it could act made it a useful adjunct to the constitution, and it gradually absorbed many of the more important functions of the state.
With the creation of the Council of Ten the main lines of the Venetian constitution were completed. At the basis of the pyramid we get the great council, the elective body composed of all who enjoyed the suffrage, i.e. of the patrician caste. Above the great council came the senate, the deliberative and legislative body par excellence. To the senate belonged all questions relating to. foreign affairs, finance, commerce, peace and war. Parallel with the senate, but extraneous to the main lines of the constitution, came the Council of Ten. As a committee of public safety it dealt with all cases of conspiracy; for example, it tried the Doge Marino Falier and the General Carmagnola; on the same ground all cases affecting public morals came within its extensive criminal jurisdiction. In the region of foreign affairs it was in communication with envoys abroad, and its orders would override those of the senate. It also had its own departments of finance and war. Above the senate and the Ten came the Collegio or cabinet, the administrative branch of the constitution. All affairs of state passed through its hands. It was the initiatory body; and it lay with the Collegio to send matters for deliberation either before the senate or before the Ten. At the apex of the pyramid came the doge and his council, the point of highest honour and least weight in the constitution.
To turn now to the external events which followed on the Fourth Crusade. These events are chiefly concerned with the long struggle with Genoa over the possession of the Levant and Black Sea trade. By the establishment of the Latin empire Venice had gained a preponderance. But it was impossible that the rival Venetian and Genoese merchants, dwelling at close quarters in the Levant cities, should not come to blows. They fell out at Acre in 1253. The first Genoese war began and ended in 1258 by the complete defeat of Genoa. But in 1261 the Greeks, supported by the Genoese, took advantage of the absence of the Venetian fleet from Constantinople to seize the city and to restore the Greek empire in the person of Michael VIII. Palaeologus. The balance turned against Venice again. The Genoese were established in the spacious quarter of Galata and threatened to absorb the trade of the Levant. To recover her position Venice went to war again, and in 1264 destroyed the Genoese fleet off Trepani, in Sicilian waters. This victory was decisive at Constantinople, where the emperor abandoned the defeated Genoese and restored Venice to her former position. The appearance of the Ottoman Turk and the final collapse of the Latin empire in Syria brought about the next campaign between the rival maritime powers. Tripoli (1289) and Acre (1291) fell to the Mussulman, and the Venetian title to her trading privileges, her diplomas from the Latin empire, disappeared. To the scandal of Christendom, Venice at once entered into treaty with the new masters of Syria and obtained a confirmation of her ancient trading rights. Genoa replied by attempting to close the Dardanelles. Venice made this action a casus belli. The Genoese won a victory in the gulf of Alexandretta (1294); but on the other hand the Venetians under Ruggiero Morosini forced the Dardanelles and sacked the Genoese quarter of Galata. The decisive engagement, however, of this campaign was fought at Curzola (1299) in the Adriatic, when Venice suffered a crushing defeat. A peace, honourable to both parties, was brought about by Matteo Visconti, lord of Milan, in that same year. But the quarrel between the republics, both fighting for trade supremacy—that is to say, for their lives—could not come to an end till one or other was thoroughly crushed. The fur trade of the Black Sea furnished the pretext for the next war (1355–54), which ended in the crushing defeat of Venice at Sapienza, and the loss of her entire fleet. But though Venice herself seemed to lie open to the Genoese, they took no advantage of their victory; they were probably too exhausted. The lord of Milan again arranged a peace (1355).
We have now reached the last phase of the struggle for maritime supremacy. Under pressure from Venice the emperor John V. Palaeologus granted possession of the island of Tenedos to the republic. The island commanded the entrance to the Dardanelles. Genoa determined to oppose the concession, and war broke out. The Genoese Admiral Luciano Doria sailed into the Adriatic, attacked and defeated Vettor Pisani at Pola in Istria, and again Venice and the lagoons lay at the mercy of the enemy. Doria resolved to blockade and starve Venice to surrender. He was master of the sea, and the flow of provisions from the mainland was cut off by Genoa's ally, Francesco I. Carrara, lord of Padua. Doria seized Chioggia as a base of operations and drew his fleet inside the lagoons. The situation was extremely critical for Venice, but she rose to the occasion. Vettor Pisani was placed in command, and by a stroke of naval genius he grasped the weakness of Doria's position. Sailing to Chioggia he blocked the channel leading from the lagoon to the sea, and Doria was caught in a trap. Pisani stationed himself outside the Lido, on the open sea, to intercept relief should any appear, and Doria, instead of blockading Venice, was himself blockaded in Chioggia. For many months the siege went on; but Pisani gradually assumed the offensive as Genoese spirits and food ran low. Finally, in June 1380 the flower of the Genoese fleet surrendered at discretion. Genoa never recovered from the blow, and Venice remained undisputed mistress of the Mediterranean and the Levant trade.
The defeat of Genoa and the establishment of Venetian supremacy in the Mediterranean brought the state to a further step in its development. The undisputed mastery of the eastern trade increased its bulk in Venice. But as the city became the recognized mart for exchange of goods between east and west, the freedom of the western outlet assumed the aspect of a paramount question. It was useless for Venice to accumulate eastern merchandise if she could not freely pass it on to the west. If the various states on the immediate mainland could levy taxes on Venetian goods in transit, the Venetian merchant would inevitably suffer in profits. The geographical position of Venice and her commercial policy alike compelled her to attempt to secure the command of the rivers and roads of the mainland, at least up to the mountains, that is to say, of the north-western outlet, just as she had obtained command of the south-eastern inlet. She was compelled to turn her attention, though reluctantly, to the mainland of Italy. Another consideration drove her in the same direction. During the long wars with Genoa, after the defeats of Curzola, Sapienza, Pola, above all during the crisis of the war of Chioggia, it had been brought home to the Venetians that, as they owned no meat or corn-producing territory, a crushing defeat at sea and a blockade on the mainland exposed them to the grave danger of being starved into surrender. Both these pressing necessities, for a free outlet for merchandise and for a food-supplying area, drove Venice on to the mainland, and compelled her to initiate a policy which eventually landed her in the disastrous wars of Cambrai. The period with which we are now dealing is the epoch of the despots, the signori, and in pursuit of expansion on the mainland Venice was brought into collision first with the Scaligeri of Verona, then with the Carraresi of Padua, and finally with the Visconti of Milan. Hitherto Venice had enjoyed the advantages of isolation; the lagoons were virtually impregnable; she had no land frontier to defend. But when she touched the mainland she at once became possessed of a frontier which could be attacked, and found herself compelled either to expand in self-defence or to lose the territory she had acquired.
Venice had already established a tentative hold on the immediate mainland as early as 1339. She was forced into war by Mastino della Scala, lord of Padua, Vicenza, Treviso, Feltre and Belluno, as well as of Verona, who imposed a duty on the transport of Venetian goods. A league against the Scala domination was formed, and the result was the fall of the family. Venice took possession of Padua, but in the terms of the league she at once conferred the lordship on the Carraresi, retaining Treviso and Bassano for herself. But it is not till we come to the opening of the next century that Venice definitely acquired land possessions and found herself committed to all the difficulties and intricacies of Italian mainland politics. On the death of Gian Galeazzo Visconti in 1402, his large possessions broke up, His neighbours and his generals seized what was nearest to hand. Francesco II. Carrara, lord of Padua, attempted to seize Vicenza and Verona. But Venice had been made to suffer at the hands of Carrara, who had levied heavy dues on transit, and moreover during the Chioggian War had helped the Genoese and cut off the food supply from the mainland. She was therefore forced in self-defence to crush the family of Carrara and to make herself permanently mistress of the immediate mainland. Accordingly when Gian Galeazzo's widow applied to the republic for help against Carrara it was readily granted, and, after some years of fighting, the possessions of the Carraresi, Padua, Treviso, Bassano, commanding the Val Sugana route, as well as Vicenza and Verona, passed definitely under Venetian rule. This expansion of mainland territory was followed in 1420 by the acquisition of Friuli after a successful war with the emperor Sigismund, thus bringing the possessions of the republic up to the Carnic and Julian Alps, their natural frontier on the north-east.
Venice was soon made to feel the consequences of having become a mainland power, the difficulties entailed by holding possessions which others coveted, and the weakness of a land frontier. To the west the new duke of Milan, Filippo Maria Visconti, was steadily piecing together the fragments of his father's shattered duchy. He was determined to recover Verona and Vicenza from Venice, and intended, as his father had done, to make himself master of all north Italy. The conflict between Venice and Milan led to three wars in 1426, 1427 and 1429. Venice was successful on the whole. She established her hold permanently on Verona and Vicenza, and acquired besides both Brescia and Bergamo; and later she occupied Crema. The war of Ferrara and the peace of Bagnolo (1484) gave her Rovigo and the Polesine. This, with the exception of a brief tenure of Cremona (1499–1512), formed her permanent territory down to the fall of the republic. Her frontiers now ran from the seacoast near Monfalcone, following the line of the Carnic and Julian and Raetian Alps to the Adda, down the course of that river till it joins the Po, and thence along the line of the Po back to the sea. But long and exhausting wars were entailed upon her for the maintenance of her hold. The rapid formation of this land empire, and the obvious intention to expand, called the attention not only of Italy but of Europe to this power which seemed destined to become supreme in north Italy, and eventually led to the league of Cambrai for the dismemberment of Venice. Contemporaneously other events were menacing the ascendancy and exhausting the treasury of the republic. In 1453 Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks, and although Venice entered at once into treaty with the new power and desired to trade with it, not to fight with it, yet it was impossible that her possessions in the Levant and the archipelago should not eventually bring her into collision with the expanding energy of the Mussulman. Europe persistently refused to assist the republic to preserve a trade in which she had established a rigid monopoly, and Venice was left to fight the Turk single-handed. The first Turkish war lasted from 1464 to 1479, and ended in the loss of Negropont and several places in the Morea, and the payment by Venice of an annual tribute for trading rights. She was consoled, however, by the acquisition of Cyprus, which came into her possession (1488) on the extinction of the dynasty of Lusignan with the death of James II. and his son James III., Caterina Cornaro, James II.'s widow, ceding the kingdom of Cyprus to Venice, since she could not hope to maintain it unaided against the Turks. The acquisition of Cyprus marks the extreme limit of Venetian expansion in the Levant; from this date onward there is little to record save the gradual loss of her maritime possessions.
Exhausting as the Turkish wars were to the Venetian treasury, her trade was still so flourishing that she might have survived the strain had not the discovery of the Cape route to the Indies cut the tap-root of her commercial prosperity by diverting the stream of traffic from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. When Diaz rounded the Cape in 1486 a fatal blow was struck at Venetian commercial supremacy. The discovery of the Cape route saved the breaking of bulk between India and Europe, and saved the dues exacted by the masters of Syria and Egypt. Trade passed into the hands of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English. Venice lost her monopoly of oriental traffic.
To complete her misfortunes, the European powers, the church and the small states of Italy, partly from jealous greed of her possessions, partly on the plea of her treason to Christendom in making terms with Islam, partly from fear of her expansion in north Italy, coalesced at Cambrai in 1508 for the partition of Venetian possessions. The war proved disastrous for Venice. The victory of Agnadello (1510) gave the allies the complete command of Venetian territory down to the shores of the lagoon. But the mutual jealousy of the allies saved her. The pope, having recovered the Romagna and secured the objects for which he had joined the league, was unwilling to see all north Italy in the hands of foreigners, and quitted the union. The emperor Maximilian failed to make good his hold on Padua, and was jealous of the French. The league broke up, and the mainland cities of the Veneto returned of their own accord to their allegiance to St Mark. But the republic never recovered from the blow, coming as it did on the top of the Turkish wars and the loss of her trade by the discovery of the Cape route. She ceased to be a great power, and was henceforth entirely concerned in the effort to preserve her remaining possessions and her very independence. The settlement of the peninsula by Charles V.'s coronation at Bologna in 1530 secured the preponderance to Spain, and the combination of Spain and the church dominated the politics of Italy. Dread of the Turks and dread of Spain were the two terrors which haunted Venice till the republic fell. That she retained her independence so long was due to a double accident: the impregnability of the lagoons and the jealousies of the great powers.
But the decline was a slow process. Venice still possessed considerable wealth and extensive possessions. Between 1499 and 1716 she went to war four times with the Turks, emerging from each campaign with some further loss of maritime territory. The fourth Turkish war (1570-1573) was signalized by the glorious victory of Lepanto (1571), due chiefly to the prowess of the Venetians under their doge Sebastian Venier. But her allies failed to support her. They reaped no fruits from the victory, and Cyprus was taken from her after the heroic defence of Famagusta by Bragadino, who was flayed alive, and his skin, stuffed with straw, borne in triumph to Constantinople. The fifth Turkish war (1645-1668) entailed the loss of Crete; and though Morosini reconquered the Morea for a brief space in 1685, that province was finally lost to Venice in 1716.
So far as European politics are concerned, the latter years of the republic are made memorable by one important event: the resistance which Venice, under the guidance of Fra Paolo Sarpi, offered to the growing claims of the Curia Romana, advanced by Pope Paul V. Venice was placed under interdict (1606), but she asserted the rights of temporal sovereigns with a courage which was successful and won for her the esteem and approval of most European sovereigns.
But the chief glory of her declining years was undoubtedly her splendid art. Giorgione, Titian, Sansovino, Tintoret, Paolo Veronese and Palladio all lived and worked after the disastrous wars of the league of Cambrai. The chief characteristic of Venice during these years is that she became the great pleasurecity of Europe. The end of the republic came when the French Revolution burst over Europe. Napoleon was determined to destroy the oligarchical government, and seized the pretext that Venice was hostile to him and a menace to his line of retreat while engaged in his Austrian campaign of 1797. The peace of Leoben left Venice without an ally. The government resolved to offer no resistance to the conqueror, and the doge Lodovico Manin abdicated on the 12th of May 1797. On the 17th of October Napoleon handed Venice over to Austria by the peace of Campo Formio, and between 1798 and 1814 she passed from France to Austria and Austria to France till the coalition of that latter year assigned her definitely to Austria. In 1848 a revolution broke out and a provisional republican government under Daniele Manin maintained itself for a brief space. In 1866 the defeat of Austria by the Prussians led to the incorporation of Venice in United Italy.
- Secretary to Theodoric the Great, in a letter dated A.D. 523.
- This palace was originally the property of the Pesaro family, and afterwards of the duke of Este, and finally of the republic, which used it as a dwelling-place for royal guests before letting it to Turkish merchants. The word Fondaco (derived through Arabic from the Greek vravéoxeinv), as applied to some of the Venetian palaces, denotes the mercantile headquarters of a foreign trading nation; Those still existing are the Turkish and the German (F. de' Tedeschi, the latter now converted into the post office.