Faculty Advisor

Kotsis, Kriszta

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2011

Abstract

The focus of this paper is on the basilica of San Marco in Venice and its relationship to the political and social culture in which it was erected. Looking directly at the set of four horses placed high above the five main entrances and the mosaics of the transfer of Saint Mark’s relics to Venice which originally decorated these portals in the thirteenth century, this paper looks to discover connections between these rather unique designs and stylistic choices and the unique sense of identity the Venetians had long perpetuated. The two different groups of works illuminate deliberate stylistic connections to former cultures made by the Venetians following their seizure of power in 1204. Ultimately, these two sets of works functioned as symbols of power that facilitated a discussion of Venetian prowess since its inception in antiquity and its future success as an imperial entity which was reliant upon the support of their patron saint, Saint Mark the Evangelist, and their triumph in the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

Publisher

University of Puget Sound