Ca’ Dario (Dorsoduro 352, Nadali & Vianello (1999) Tav. 51) is first mentioned by Ruskin in his published works in relation to ‘magnificent coloured marbles at Works, 3.215 [n/a]; for circular ornament, Works, 8.153; and then for its Wall Veil Decoration, Plate 1, Works, 9.33.
For the image from Ruskin’s Rudimentary Series see here and here.
Ruskin cites it at Verona Book p.23, together with the Palazzo Trevisan Cappello in Canonica, as an example of the Byzantine Renaissance, and in a parallel passage at Verona Book p.39 as an example of the Romanesque Renaissance (an example of Ruskin’s sometimes, though not always, defining Byzantine as a category of Romanesque). These ideas outlined in Verona Book are developed at Works, 9.425 and Works, 11.21. Both houses would presumably have been included by Ruskin among the ‘Lombardi coloured palaces’ mentioned at Gothic Book p.14, that is as belonging to the group of buildings decorated with coloured marble and associated with the Lombardi family of architects, and for that reason categorised under the heading ‘stile Lombardo’ by Zanotto (Zanotto (1847))
In Stones of Venice questions are raised about its date, perhaps as a result of substantial difference between the views of Selvatico, who dated it to the sixteenth century, and those of Zanotto, who dated it to around 1450.
Selvatico (1847) p.522, suggests that it belongs to the ‘XVI secolo’. At page 253 Selvatico refers to ‘la ricchezza de’ suoi marmi’ and attributes it on stylistic grounds to Guglielmo ‘Bergamasco’, i.e. Guglielmo de’ Grigi, who died around 1550. Works, 9.425 refers to Selvatico’s later dating, but does not accept it.
Zanotto (1847) II.ii., p.450 points to its ‘tipo di leggiadra e di eleganza architettonica, può dirsi di carattera affina alla magione Trevisan, poi Cappello, in Canonica, e più ancora all’ altra Grimani a San Vito’. He suggests that it is from ‘l’epoca senza equivoci del 1450 o in quel torno’, with traces of ‘il gusto dei tempi vicini al risorgimento della buona architettura’.
At Works, 11.256 Ruskin cites the evidence provided by Rawdon Brown, who had owned the Palazzo Dario 1838-42, for 1486 rather than the earlier or later dates. At Works, 9.426 Ruskin had claimed to have ‘sufficient evidence’ for ‘assuming’ 1486 as the date, but he did not there credit Rawdon Brown as the source of his evidence.
Rawdon Brown is quoted by Ruskin in the passage at Works, 11.256 as having attributed the earlier date to Moro and Fontana (1850), not the earlier work of Zanotto (1847).
[Version 0.05: May 2008]