This photograph was taken in front of the Doge’s Palace in the heart of Venice and shows the sixteenth-century Bibliotheca Marciana that stands opposite. Both buildings face onto a small rectangular square that is open on one side to the mouth of the Grand Canal, to the left of the large Byzantine columns. These columns, erected in 1180, traditionally formed the official ‘gate’ from the Canal into Venice. The sculptures on the columns represent Venice’s two patron saints: the winged lion of St Mark and a statue of St Theodore. The latter became a martyr after having been killed for burning down a pagan temple. He stands on a crocodile that represents a pagan god associated with the temple he destroyed.