S. Michele in Isola is usually seen as the first all’antica Venetian church of the Quattrocento: but how innovative is it with respect to Venetian medieval and early Quattrocento architectural and decorative practices? The Codussian nave in fact replicates the layout of the pre-existing medieval church (to which the architect added the atrium) but it seems almost certain that Codussi also retained at least the plan, and possibly part of the elevation, of the presbytery of the old church with its three apsidal ends in typical North Adriatic medieval fashion. The architecture of the elevations owed practically everything to Venetian architectural medieval and renaissance styles: the often repeated hypothesis that the facade of the church has much, if anything to do with Alberti’s S. Francesco at Rimini, is here rejected and much more likely local sources are proposed, above all S. Marco. One of the most obvious characteristics of the church is its heterogeneity in terms of structure and architectural style. Codussi was not the architect in the sense that he evolved a single coherent plan for the interior and exterior; rather he was the supervising capomastro of a team of sculptors and stonemasons who used different styles; only in this way can one understand the mismatches of style and structure between the presbytery, nave, the barco and the S. Sacramento and the Boldù chapels. Almost all the decorative and architectural forms derive from medieval and renaissance sources at least as old as S. Marco and stretching up to the 1460’s.
Low-tide elevations and artificial islands have received less attention than islands ‘proper’. The article examines the evolution of the law of the sea applicable to such features, providing a contextual background for controversial contemporary state practice relating to their treatment. It includes a detailed case study of how the policies of one major maritime power, the United Kingdom, were formulated, adapted and refined in the face of fast-changing international legal norms and pressing regional concerns. In particular Britain’s consideration of the entitlement of artificial islands in the Persian Gulf during the early 1950s and the question of whether low-tide elevations could be occupied a few years later in the Caribbean region are examined. Subsequent clarifications of relevant positions in international law concerning sovereignty claims to and maritime claims from low-tide elevations and artificial islands are discussed.