Narrowing Topic: San Marco Mosaics 19th century

I have narrowed my topic down concerning the Basilica of San Marco’s mosaic decoration. The period of conservation/restoration I would like to focus on is the 19th century. This is an interesting period for the mosaics of San Marco because of the restoration techniques and though not too dissimilar to earlier methods used on the Basilica the administration came under scrutiny for being too intrusive marking a change in the ethical thinking regarding the preservation of mosaics. In 1859 the administration of San Marco made a contract with the Salviati Company for them to supply smalti, restoring damaged mosaics and replacing mosaics that had been lost. The Salviati Company, as well as the individual leading the restorations Giambattista Meduna, faced much criticism largely because the original designs of the mosaics were not always being followed and the glass being used was noticeably of a different quality than the older glass already on the walls. The work that began in 1860 had repercussions for both the aesthetic of the basilica, the conservation of mosaics and mosaic glass making in Italy.


I am working on compiling a bibliography.


Andreescu Treadgold, Irina. “The Real and the Fake: Two Mosaic from Venice in

American Collections.” Studi Veneziani. N. S. 36, 1998. p. 281. n. 13.


Barr, Sheldon. Venetian Glass Mosaics 1860-1917. Antique Collectors Club,



Layard, Sir Henry Austen. “Paper on Mosaic Decoration.” Institute for the Venice and

Murano Glass and Mosaic Company Limited, Metchim and Son, London: 1869.


Otto, Demus. The Mosaic Decoration of San Marco, Venice. Chicago; London:

University of Cicago Press, 1988.