When St Mark's was under threat from restoration Ruskin began an international protest. He believed that buildings should be preserved, rather than restored. So strong was his argument that the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings was formed in 1877.
Despite the society being formed, Ruskin commissioned artists to 'record' the building, to draw it before it fell into disrepair or into the hands of a restoration project. The building is still considered 'under construction' as it hasn't been finished in the eight hundred years since first opening.
Ruskin had a passion for this building all through his life. He considered it to be the epitome of architecture. It combined exotic styling and a rich, varied selection of materials.
The painting above of St Mark's Cathedral, Venice in The Guild of St. George collection was painted by John W Bunney.