The Fondaco dei Turchi, Santa Croce 1730, along with the ‘Rio Foscari House’ provides for Ruskin a paradigm of Byzantine style.
At Works, 10.144 Ruskin refers to the ‘utter desolation’ of the Fondaco dei Turchi but suggests that the nobleness of the traces that are still left of it represents a challenge to the Renaissance and its values. Works, 10.144fn gives 1869 as the date of the rebuilding of the Fondaco dei Turchi; Ruskin’s responses are not recorded but it seems unlikely that he would have agreed with Zanotto who wrote in Zanotto (1847) II.ii.420: “e presto, speriamo adjuvante il pubblica, sarà per rimettere il prospetto nello stato primiero, sendo quasto fabbrica unica nel suo genere.” Zanotto includes an engraving facing II.ii.418 of a reconstruction which, unlike the existing reconstruction, does not have the towers at each end.
As with the Palazzo Farsetti (rebuilt 1874), the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, and the Hotel Bauer Grunwald the current state of the building is not what Ruskin saw. For evidence of the building as it was in Ruskin’s time, see his drawing at Works, 10.ii and the photograph here.
Works, 11.378 is Ruskin’s entry for it in the Venetian Index.
In the section beginning at Works, 10.144 it is discussed and illustrated in relation to six other Byzantine Palaces (described in the Appendix at Works, 10.453ff) and in relation to the form of the west front of St. Mark’s.
Works, 10.170 is concerned with the use of colour in the Fondaco dei Turchi, and compares it with Casa Loredan, and St. Mark’s.
There are published illustrations as follows:
Works, 10.ii - decoration of the front;
Works, 10.147 has a drawing of the front, and Works, 10.148 a set of measurements, which provide the basis for a comparison with west front of St. Mark’s at Works, 10.152.
Capitals are illustrated at:
Plate VIII, 1,6,14, facing Works, 10.159, with a discussion Works, 10.157-161,
Plate X, Fig.4, facing Works, 10.164, with a discussion on Works, 10.164;
Plate XII facing Works, 10.378
Bases are illustrated at:
Plate facing Works, 9.336, base profiles, No. 13, with a discussion at Works, 9.336-7
Plate facing Works, 9.340, base plans, Nos. 8 and 9, with a discussion at Works, 9.341
Plate facing Works, 11.266, No. 9, in the context of the discussion of bases in the Final Appendix.
References in the Notebooks (with the exception of occasions when it is used merely as an indication of location):
Bit Book p.25 comparison with capital at St Giacomo di Rialto;
Bit Book p.61 comparison with capitals in northern portico of St. Marks;
Door Book p.16 comparison with door of House 45;
House Book 1 p.12 comparison with shafts of Palazzo Molin Balba, Ruskin’s House No. 10;
House Book 2 p.53 comparison of Fondaco dei Turchi plinth and base with Farsetti;
Gothic Book p.59 section of capital and circles between stilted arches;
St M[arks] Book p.21 comparison with capitals of southern portico of St. Mark’s.
Notebook M pp.49-50 and Notebook M pp.55-57 are the main descriptions of Fondaco dei Turchi in M;
Notebook M p.62 (and reference there to lateral arch in Sheet No. 38 [n/a])
Notebook M pp.140-141 Loredan either much earlier than Turchi or very bad work. Its capitals do not have the precise lines or delicate chiselling of the Fondaco dei Turchi;
Notebook M p.142 comparison with Farsetti base;
Notebook M pp.159-60 discussion of the new and old brickwork at the Fondaco dei Turchi; the place for marble veneering left by the old brickwork; the effect of the circular ornaments. Comparison with Bacon Palace and Palazzo Bernardo.
Notebook M p.146 exquisite precision of the noble sharp leaved capital of Fondaco dei Turchi by comparison with the Bon work of Palazzo Morosini Brandolin (San Polo 1789);
Notebook M p.179 dating of the ‘pure flat cornice’ of the Fondaco dei Turchi;
Notebook M p.180 comparison with the south portico of St. Mark’s;
Notebook M p.191 comparison with the interior capitals of Santa Fosca Torcello;
Notebook M pp.193f comparison with Torcello Duomo capitals;
Notebook M p.221 Ruskin’s Index reads:
Fondaco dei Turchi, Upper arcade, 49, 50
Lower 55 Generally, 56, 146, 159
The references in the index to the upper and lower arcades are contradicted by the text of M. The passage at Notebook M pp.49f (with reference to Sheet No. 31) is said there by Ruskin to be the lower arcade, and Notebook M p.55 (with reference to Sheet No. 36 [n/a]) the upper. Compare the ambiguous way in which the first version of the index in manuscript form presents the references to the arcades of the Fondaco dei Turchi at St M[arks] Book p.10. It seems likely that it is the ambiguity in that draft which causes the confusion in the final index.
Notebook M2 p.5 capitals;
Notebook M2 p.32 notes from Zanotto (1847);
Notebook M2 p.36 Fondaco dei Turchi shows the first signs of Venetian affection for whirled or spiral forms;
Notebook M2 pp.53f Fondaco dei Turchi in relation to the development of the Venetian leaf cornice.
See Howard (2002) pp 32-34, 36, 38 and Quill (2000) p.63.
[Version 0.05: May 2008]