Possibly dating from the spring of 1846, this study shows the whole façade of a palace on the lower reach of the Grand Canal, between the Accademia and the Salute. Built in about 1487 for Giovanni Dario – unusually, not a nobleman, but secretary to the Venetian Republic in Constantinople – it exemplifies the style of “Renaissance engrafted on Byzantine”, with remarkable inlaid panels of marble, that made it acceptable to Ruskin as a building not from the heyday of Venetian Gothic. Henry James compared it to “a house of cards that hold together by a tenure it would be fatal to touch.”


  • Title: Palazzo Dario
  • Creator: John Ruskin (1819-1900)
  • Date Created: c. 1846
  • Location Created: Palazzo Dario, Venice, Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 22.5 x 12.5 cm
  • Rights: © The Ruskin, Lancaster University
  • Medium: Pencil, ink, watercolour and bodycolour

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