The Man Who Built the Basilica San Marco!

Bas-relief of a man biting his fingernails, Basilica San Marco, Venice
If you stand at the entrance to the Basilica San Marco and look up at the upper of the three exquisitely carved arches, you will see, at the bottom left, a bearded man, who is seated with his two crutches. Local tradition has long believed that this is the architect (proto) of the church. 

According to one story, he promised to design the most beautiful church in the world. When the work was completed the architect rashly boasted that he could have made it even more beautiful. 

This braggadocio cost the proto his job, which is why he sits nervously biting his finger, or at least he did before pollution caused his hand and half of his arm to crumble away. 

The fact that the arch was carved about a century and a half after the basilica was built should not be allowed to get in the way of a good story! 


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