'Venice, The Basilica of S. Marco' 1841.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A daguerreotype of St Mark's, Venice, by Alexander John Ellis. The Byzantine-influenced basilica was built in the eleventh century. The three flagstaffs standing outside reflect Venice's imperial past. They flew the flags of Crete, Cyprus and the Morea. Ellis toured Italy in 1841, taking daguerreotype panoramas, landscapes and architectural views. In Rome, he worked with Achille Morelli and Lorenzo Suscipi, acquiring 45 daguerreotypes from them. In total, Ellis took or acquired 159 daguerreotypes. He intended to publish engravings made from these as a book entitled 'Italy Daguerreotyped', but sadly the project was never realised.