The Translation of St. Mark

17th century
Mosaic, from a cartoon by Pietro Vecchia
First lunette on the right, west façade of St. Mark's Basilica

The mosaic faithfully follows the 9th-century account of the first stage in the translation of St. Mark from Alexandria to Venice (Acta Sanctorum, Apr. vol. 3, 354). In the right section of the arch (only partly visible here), the merchants break into the crypt and remove the body of St. Mark from its sarcophagus, replacing it with the body of St. Claudia. In the left section we see them preparing the basket: they place the body at the bottom, then olive leaves (from the tree on the right), then pork. In the lunette, the Saracens at the port decline to inspect the basket because of the pork, which Moslems consider unclean. On the far left of the lunette, the same basket is being loaded onto the ship that will take it to Venice.

More of St. Mark

Source: Nino Barbieri via Wikimedia Commons