What the invention of oil-painting was to the Venetians, the face of Antinous was to late Greek sculpture, and the face of Dorian Gray will some day be to me.
"My dear Basil, how do I know?" murmured Dorian, sipping some paleyellow wine from a delicate gold-beaded bubble of Venetian glass, and looking dreadfully bored.
His eye fell on a large purple satin coverlet heavily embroidered with gold, a splendid piece of late seventeenthcentury Venetian work that his uncle had found in a convent near Bologna.
The King of Malabar had shown a Venetian a rosary of one hundred and four pearls, one for every god that he worshipped.
…designs, and on which were pictured the awful and beautiful forms of those whom Vice and Blood and Weariness had made monstrous or mad: Filippo, Duke of Milan, who slew his wife, and painted her lips with a scarlet poison; Pietro Barbi, the Venetian, known as Paul the Second, who sought in his vanity to assume the title of Formosus, and whose tiara, valued at two hundred thousand florins, was bought at the price of a terrible sin; Gian Maria Visconti, who used hounds to chase living…