History of plates

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As mentioned we studied all the plates in the Campo Santa Margherita area which are Gothic and Byzantine decorations. Most of the plates contain animal figures and about those we found out more.

The peacocks for example are used in preference to any other bird and animal in the plates. Mostly they are drinking from a fountain or from a font. In this composition they are a symbol of the new life received in faithful baptism and they are also a Byzantine Symbol of Resurrection.

We found out that some of the original Byzantinian buildings got pulled down and the plates were attached to the new built houses but not in the original order. The fragments were perserved and then inserted on the walls of the new buildings with more or less attempt at symmetry of friezes and mouldings. The Mode of their original order can only be found in St. Mark‘s, The Fondaco del Turchi, Braided House and one or two others.

Some plates are ruder in cutting than other plates and they show no attempt at variety of invention, but they have variety enough to keep the eye entertained! Probably they are a distinct and apprehend reference to the power of evil. Birds or beasts either stand opposite to each other with a small pillar or spray of leafage between them, or tearing and devoring each other
They are Byzantine symbols.

To the order of the plates is to say that they are either placed in the centre of the archivolt or of the doorway or in the centre of the first story above the windows. Of each side of the crosses the circular was used in various alternation

Vine for example is recognised as, a type of Christ himself, or of those who were in a state of visible or professed union with him.

Groups of contending and devouring animals are always much ruder in cutting!

Circular disks of green serpentine and porphyry which together with the circular sculptures, appear to have been an ornament peculiarly grateful to the Eastern mind, derived probably in the first instance from the  suspension of shields upon the wall, as in the majesty of ancient tyre.

The sweet and solemn harmony of purple with various green remained a favorite chard of colour with the Venetians and was constantly used even in the later places; but never could have been seen in so great  perfection as when opposed to the pale and delicate sculpture of the Byzantine time.

The love of the bright and pure color which, in a modified form, was afterwards the root of all the triumph of the Venetian schools of painting, but which in its utmost simplicity, was characteristic of the Byzantine period.


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