When I was a teenager, my high school art teacher gave me a copy of The Stones of Venice, by John Ruskin. Looking back, this gift was strangely significant. The book, no doubt, planted the seed of my love affair with Venice, but also my eventual career path.
First published in three volumes in the early 1850s, The Stones of Venice serves both as a lesson on the rules of architecture—covering construction and decoration—as well as a history of Venice through its iconic structures. During my recent visit to the city, I thought often of Ruskin’s work as I took in the intricate stone floors, carvings, and other architectural details.
Here’s a collection of particularly impressive stonework, much of which is at the Doge’s Palace—my all-time favorite historical building in Venice: