Fresco

Fresco

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Fresco is any of several related mural
Mural
A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A particularly distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.-History:Murals of...

 painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 types, executed on plaster
Plaster
Plaster is a building material used for coating walls and ceilings. Plaster starts as a dry powder similar to mortar or cement and like those materials it is mixed with water to form a paste which liberates heat and then hardens. Unlike mortar and cement, plaster remains quite soft after setting,...

 on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 word affresca [afˈfresːko] which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. Declining in popularity, they enjoyed something of a revival in the 20th century.

Types


Buon fresco
Buon fresco
Buon fresco is a fresco painting technique in which alkaline resistant pigments, ground in water, are applied to plaster when it is still wet, as opposed to fresco-secco...

technique consists of painting in pigment
Pigment
A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.Many materials selectively absorb...

 mixed with water on a thin layer of wet, fresh (hence the name) lime mortar
Lime mortar
Lime mortar is a type of mortar composed of lime and an aggregate such as sand, mixed with water. It is one of the oldest known types of mortar, dating back to the 4th century BC and widely used in Ancient Rome and Greece, when it largely replaced the clay and gypsum mortars common to Ancient...

 or plaster
Plaster
Plaster is a building material used for coating walls and ceilings. Plaster starts as a dry powder similar to mortar or cement and like those materials it is mixed with water to form a paste which liberates heat and then hardens. Unlike mortar and cement, plaster remains quite soft after setting,...

, for which the Italian word for plaster, intonaco
Intonaco
Intonaco is an Italian term for the final, very thin layer of plaster on which a fresco is painted. The plaster is painted while still wet, in order to allow the pigment to penetrate into the intonaco itself...

, is used. Because of the chemical makeup of the plaster, a binder
Binder (material)
-See also:*Adhesive or Glue*Cement*Paint...

 is not required, as the pigment mixed solely with the water will sink into the intonaco, which itself becomes the medium holding the pigment. The pigment is absorbed by the wet plaster; after a number of hours, the plaster dries and reacts with the air: it is this chemical reaction which fixes the pigment particles in the plaster. One of the first painters in the post-classical period to use this technique was the Isaac Master in the Upper Basilica of Saint Francis
Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi
The Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor—commonly known as the Franciscan Order—in Assisi, Italy, the city where St. Francis was born and died. The basilica is one of the most important places of Christian pilgrimage in Italy...

 in Assisi
Assisi
- Churches :* The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi is a World Heritage Site. The Franciscan monastery, il Sacro Convento, and the lower and upper church of St Francis were begun immediately after his canonization in 1228, and completed in 1253...

. A person who creates fresco is called a frescoist.

A secco painting, in contrast, is done on dry plaster (secco is "dry" in Italian). The pigments thus require a binding medium, such as egg
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

 (tempera
Tempera
Tempera, also known as egg tempera, is a permanent fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed with a water-soluble binder medium . Tempera also refers to the paintings done in this medium. Tempera paintings are very long lasting, and examples from the 1st centuries AD still exist...

), glue or oil
Oil painting
Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments that are bound with a medium of drying oil—especially in early modern Europe, linseed oil. Often an oil such as linseed was boiled with a resin such as pine resin or even frankincense; these were called 'varnishes' and were prized for their body...

 to attach the pigment to the wall. It is important to distinguish between a secco work done on top of buon fresco, which according to most authorities was in fact standard from the Middle Ages onwards, and work done entirely a secco on a blank wall. Generally, buon fresco works are more durable than any a secco work added on top of them, because a secco work lasts better with a roughened plaster surface, whilst true fresco should have a smooth one. The additional a secco work would be done to make changes, and sometimes to add small details, but also because not all colours can be achieved in true fresco, because only some pigments work chemically in the very alkaline environment of fresh lime-based plaster. Blue was a particular problem, and skies and blue robes were often added a secco, as neither azurite blue, nor lapis lazuli
Lapis lazuli
Lapis lazuli is a relatively rare semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense blue color....

, the only two blue pigments then available, work well in wet fresco.

It has also become increasingly clear, thanks to modern analytical techniques, that even in the early Italian Renaissance painters quite frequently employed a secco techniques so as to allow the use of a broader range of pigments. In most early examples this work has now entirely vanished, but a whole fresco done a secco on a surface roughened to give a key for the paint may survive very well, although damp is more threatening to it than to buon fresco.

A third type called a mezzo-fresco is painted on nearly dry intonaco—firm enough not to take a thumb-print, says the sixteenth-century author Ignazio Pozzo—so that the pigment only penetrates slightly into the plaster. By the end of the sixteenth century this had largely displaced buon fresco, and was used by painters such as Gianbattista Tiepolo or Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

. This technique had, in reduced form, the advantages of a secco work.

The three key advantages of work done entirely a secco were that it was quicker, mistakes could be corrected, and the colours varied less from when applied to when fully dry—in wet fresco there was a considerable change.

In painting buon fresco, a rough underlayer called the arriccio is added to the whole area to be painted, and allowed it to dry for some days. Many artists sketched their compositions on this underlayer, which would never be seen, in a red pigment called sinopia
Sinopia
Sinopia is a reddish-brown ochre-like earth color pigment used in traditional oil painting. It is used for the cartoon or underpainting for a fresco; indeed, the term is also synecdochically used to refer to underpainting done in sinopia...

; these drawings are also called sinopia. Later, techniques for transferring paper drawings to the wall were developed. The main lines of the drawing were pricked over with a point, held against the wall, and a bag of soot (spolvero) banged on them on produce black dots along the lines. If a previous fresco was being painted over, the surface would be roughened to give a key. On the day of painting, a thinner, smooth layer of fine plaster, the intonaco, is added to the amount of wall that can be expected to be completed in a day, sometimes matching the contours of the figures or the landscape, but more often just starting from the top of the composition. This area is called the giornata ("day's work"), and the different day stages can usually be seen in a large fresco, by a sort of seam that separates one from the next.

Buon frescoes are difficult to create because of the deadline associated with the drying plaster. Generally, a layer of plaster will require ten to twelve hours to dry; ideally, an artist would begin to paint after one hour and continue until two hours before the drying time—giving seven to nine hours working time. Once a giornata is dried, no more buon fresco can be done, and the unpainted intonaco must be removed with a tool before starting again the next day. If mistakes have been made, it may also be necessary to remove the whole intonaco for that area—or to change them later à secco.

A technique as seen in the popular frescoes of Michelangelo and Raphael is to actually scrape into certain areas of the plaster while still wet to increase the illusion of depth and to accent certain areas over others. The eyes of the people of the School of athens are sunken-in using this technique which causes the eyes to seem deeper and more pensive. Michelangelo used this technique as part of his trademark 'outlining' of his central figures within his frescoes.

In a wall-sized fresco, there may be ten to twenty or even more giornate, or separate areas of plaster. After centuries, these giornate (originally, nearly invisible) have sometimes become visible, and in many large-scale frescoes, these divisions may be seen from the ground. Additionally, the border between giornate was often covered by à secco painting, which has since fallen off.

For wholly à secco work, the intonaco is laid with a rougher finish, allowed to dry completely and then usually given a key by rubbing with sand. The painter then proceeds much as he would on a canvas or wood panel.

Crete and Egypt


The earliest known examples frescoes done in the Buon Fresco method date at around 1500 BC and are to be found on the island of Crete in Greece. The most famous of these, The Toreador, depicts a sacred ceremony in which individuals jump over the backs of large bulls. While some similar frescoes have been found in other locations around the Mediterranean basin, particularly in Egypt and Morocco, their origins are subject to speculation.

Some art historians believe that fresco artists from Crete may have been sent to various locations as part of a trade exchange, a possibility which raises to the fore the importance of this art form within the society of the times. The most common form of fresco was Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian wall paintings in tomb
Tomb
A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. It is generally any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes...

s, usually using the à secco technique.


Classical antiquity


Frescoes were also painted in ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, but few of these works have survived. In southern Italy, at Paestum
Paestum
Paestum is the classical Roman name of a major Graeco-Roman city in the Campania region of Italy. It is located in the north of Cilento, near the coast about 85 km SE of Naples in the province of Salerno, and belongs to the commune of Capaccio, officially also named...

, which was a Greek colony of the Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia
Magna Græcia is the name of the coastal areas of Southern Italy on the Tarentine Gulf that were extensively colonized by Greek settlers; particularly the Achaean colonies of Tarentum, Crotone, and Sybaris, but also, more loosely, the cities of Cumae and Neapolis to the north...

, a tomb containing frescoes dating back to 470 BC, the so called Tomb of the Diver
Tomb of the Diver
The Tomb of the Diver is an important archaeological monument, found by the Italian archaeologist Mario Napoli on 3 June 1968 during his excavation of a small necropolis about 1.5 km south of the Greek city of Paestum in Magna Graecia, now southern Italy...

 was discovered on June 1968. These frescoes depict scenes of the life and society of ancient Greece, and constitute valuable historical testimonials. One shows a group of men reclining at a symposium
Symposium
In ancient Greece, the symposium was a drinking party. Literary works that describe or take place at a symposium include two Socratic dialogues, Plato's Symposium and Xenophon's Symposium, as well as a number of Greek poems such as the elegies of Theognis of Megara...

 while another shows a young man diving
Diving
Diving is the sport of jumping or falling into water from a platform or springboard, sometimes while performing acrobatics. Diving is an internationally-recognized sport that is part of the Olympic Games. In addition, unstructured and non-competitive diving is a recreational pastime.Diving is one...

 into the sea.

Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 wall paintings, such as those at the magnificent Villa dei Misteri (1st century B.C.) in the ruins of Pompeii
Pompeii
The city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning...

, and others at Herculaneum
Herculaneum
Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in AD 79, located in the territory of the current commune of Ercolano, in the Italian region of Campania in the shadow of Mt...

, were completed in buon fresco.

Late Roman Empire (Christian) 1st-2nd century frescoes were found in catacombs beneath Rome and Byzantine Icons were also found in Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

, Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era...

, Cappadocia
Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in Nevşehir Province.In the time of Herodotus, the Cappadocians were reported as occupying the whole region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine...

 and Antioch
Antioch
Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. It is near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey.Founded near the end of the 4th century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch eventually rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the...

. Roman frescoes were done by the artist painting the artwork on the still damp plaster of the wall, so that the painting is part of the wall, actually colored plaster.

Also a historical collection of Ancient Christian frescoes can be found in the Churches of Goreme Turkey.

Indian fresco



Thanks to large number of ancient rock-cut cave temples there have been preserved valuable ancient and early medieval frescoes in more than 20 locations of India.

The frescoes on the ceilings and walls of the Ajanta Caves were painted between c. 200 BC and 600 and are the oldest known frescoes in India. They depict the Jataka
Jataka
The Jātakas refer to a voluminous body of literature native to India concerning the previous births of the Buddha....

 tales that are stories of the Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

's life in former existences as Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is either an enlightened existence or an enlightenment-being or, given the variant Sanskrit spelling satva rather than sattva, "heroic-minded one for enlightenment ." The Pali term has sometimes been translated as "wisdom-being," although in modern publications, and...

. The narrative episodes are depicted one after another although not in a linear order. Their identification has been a core area of research on the subject since the time of the site's rediscovery in 1819. Other locations with valuable preserved ancient and early medieval frescoes include Bagh Caves
Bagh Caves
The Bagh Caves are a group of nine rock-cut monuments, situated among the southern slopes of the Vindhyas in Kukshi tehsil of Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh state in central India. These monuments are located at a distance of 97 km from Dhar town. These are renowned for mural paintings by...

, Ellora Caves
Ellora Caves
Ellora is an archaeological site, from the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty . Well-known for its monumental caves, Ellora is a World Heritage Site. Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 "caves" – actually...

, Sittanavasal
Sittanavasal
Sittanavasal is a 2nd Century Jain cave temple complex in Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu. It is located at a distance of 58 km from Trichy. The most famous monument is rock-cut monastery of the Jains which contains remnants of exquisite frescoes from 7th century...

, Armamalai Cave, Badami Cave Temples and other locations. Frescoes have been made in several techniques including tempera technique.

The later Chola paintings were discovered in 1931 within the circumambulatory passage of the Brihadisvara Temple in India and are the first Chola specimens discovered.

Researchers have discovered the technique used in these frescos. A smooth batter of limestone mixture is applied over the stones, which took two to three days to set. Within that short span, such large paintings were painted with natural organic pigments.

During the Nayak period the chola paintings were painted over. The Chola frescos lying underneath have an ardent spirit of saivism is expressed in them. They probably synchronised with the completion of the temple by Rajaraja Cholan the Great.

The frescoes in Dogra
Dogra
The Dogras are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group in South Asia. Being a diversified group, the Dogras include both Savarnas such as Brahmins, Rajputs and Non-savarnas. The Dogras also incluide merchant castes such as Mahajans...

/ Pahari style paintings exist in their unique form at Sheesh Mahal of Ramnagar (105 km from Jammu
Jammu
Jammu , also known as Duggar, is one of the three administrative divisions within Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state in India.Jammu city is the largest city in Jammu and the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir...

 and 35 km west of Udhampur). Scenes from epics of Mahabharat and Ramayan along with portraits of local lords form the subject matter of these wall paintings. Rang Mahal of Chamba (Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is spread over , and is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the south, Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east...

) is another site of historic Dogri fresco with wall paintings depicting scenes of Draupti Cheer Haran, and Radha- Krishna Leela . This can be seen preserved at National Museum at New Delhi in a chamber called Chamba Rang Mahal.

Frescoes also can be found in Sigiriya
Sigiriya
Sigiriya is a large stone and ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures...

, situated in the central Matale District
Matale District
Matale District is a district in Central Province, Sri Lanka. Its area is 1,987 km².- Demographics :The population according to 2001 census is 441,328. 80.1 % of the population are Sinhalese, 8.7 % Sri Lankan Moors, 5.5 % native Sri Lankan tamils and 5.3 % tamils of...

 of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. The frescoes were created in the 5-6th centuries. They are considered a masterpiece of ancient frescoes.

Middle ages


The late Medieval period and the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 saw the most prominent use of fresco, particularly in Italy, where most churches and many government buildings still feature fresco decoration. In Denmark too, church wall paintings
Church frescos in Denmark
Church frescos or church wall paintings are to be found in some 600 churches across Denmark, no doubt representing the highest concentration of surviving church murals anywhere in the world. Most of them date back to the Middle Ages...

 or kalkmalerier were widely used in the Middle Ages (first Romanesque then Gothic) and can be seen in some 600 Danish churches as well as in churches in the south of Sweden which was Danish at the time.

One of the rare examples of Islamic fresco painting can be seen in Qasr Amra
Qasr Amra
Qasr Amra , often Quseir Amra or Qusayr Amra, is the best-known of the desert castles located in present-day eastern Jordan. It was built early in the 8th century by the Umayyad caliph Walid I whose dominance of the region was rising at the time...

, the desert palace of the Umayyads in the 8th century.
Magotez.

Early modern Europe


Northern Romania boasts about a dozen painted monasteries, completely covered with frescos inside and out, that date from the second quarter of the sixteenth century. The most remarkable are the monastic foundations at Humor (hoo mor), Moldoviţa (mol do vee' tsa), Arbore (are' bo ray) and Voroneţ (vo ro nets). Suceviţa (sue che vee' tsa), dating from 1600, represents a late return to the style developed some seventy years earlier. The tradition of painted churches continued into the nineteenth century in other parts of Romania, although never to the same extent.

Andrea Palladio
Andrea Palladio
Andrea Palladio was an architect active in the Republic of Venice. Palladio, influenced by Roman and Greek architecture, primarily by Vitruvius, is widely considered the most influential individual in the history of Western architecture...

, the famous Italian architect of the 16th century, built many mansion
Mansion
A mansion is a very large dwelling house. U.S. real estate brokers define a mansion as a dwelling of over . A traditional European mansion was defined as a house which contained a ballroom and tens of bedrooms...

s with plain exteriors and stunning interiors filled with frescoes.

The Foujita chapel
Foujita chapel
The chapel of Our Lady Queen of Peace, or Foujita Chapel, was constructed in 1965-1966 at Reims, France. The chapel was conceived and designed by the artist Tsuguharu Foujita, and is famous for the frescos he painted in the interiors...

 in Reims
Reims
Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

 completed in 1966, is an example of modern frescos, the interior being painted with religious scenes by the School of Paris
School of Paris
School of Paris refers to two distinct groups of artists — a group of medieval manuscript illuminators, and a group of non-French artists working in Paris before World War I...

 painter Tsuguharu Foujita
Tsuguharu Foujita
was a painter and printmaker born in Tokyo, Japan who applied Japanese ink techniques to Western style paintings.- Education :In 1910 when he was twenty-four years old Foujita graduated from what is now the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music....

. In 1996, it was designated an historic monument by the French Government.

Mexican Muralism


José Clemente Orozco
José Clemente Orozco
José Clemente Orozco was a Mexican social realist painter, who specialized in bold murals that established the Mexican Mural Renaissance together with murals by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and others...

, Fernando Leal, David Siqueiros and Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera
Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez was a prominent Mexican painter born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, an active communist, and husband of Frida Kahlo . His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in...

 the famous Mexican artists renewed the art of fresco painting in the 20th century. Orozco, Siqueiros, Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán, and perhaps best known for her self-portraits....

 contributed more to the history of Mexican fine arts and to the reputation of Mexican art in general than anybody else. Together with works by Orozco, Siqueiros, and others, Fernando Leal and Rivera's large wall works in fresco established the art movement known as Mexican Muralism
Mexican Muralism
Mexican muralism is a Mexican art movement. The most important period of this movement took place primarily from the 1920s to the 1960s, though it exerted an influence on later generations of Mexican artists...

.
Among contemporary artists, Fernando Leal Audirac has developed a technique of transportable frescos.

Selected examples of frescoes


Italian Early Medieval
  • Castelseprio
    Castelseprio
    Castelseprio was the site of a Roman fort in antiquity, and a significant Lombard town in the early Middle Ages, before being destroyed and abandoned in 1287. It is today preserved as an archaeological park in the modern comune of Castelseprio, near the modern village of the same name...


Italian Late Medieval-Quattrocento
  • Panels (including Giotto(?), Lorenzetti, Martini and others) in upper and lower Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi
    Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi
    The Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor—commonly known as the Franciscan Order—in Assisi, Italy, the city where St. Francis was born and died. The basilica is one of the most important places of Christian pilgrimage in Italy...

  • Giotto
    Giotto di Bondone
    Giotto di Bondone , better known simply as Giotto, was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages...

    , Cappella degli Scrovegni
    Cappella degli Scrovegni
    The Scrovegni Chapel, or Cappella degli Scrovegni, also known as the Arena Chapel, is a church in Padua, Veneto, Italy. It contains a fresco cycle by Giotto, completed about 1305, that is one of the most important masterpieces of Western art. The church was dedicated to Santa Maria della Carità at...

     (Arena Chapel), Padua
  • Camposanto, Pisa
    Pisa
    Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

  • Masaccio, Brancacci Chapel
    Brancacci Chapel
    The Brancacci Chapel is a chapel in the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence, central Italy. It is sometimes called the "Sistine Chapel of the early Renaissance" for its painting cycle, among the most famous and influential of the period. Construction of the chapel was commissioned by...

    , Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

  • Ambrogio Lorenzetti
    Ambrogio Lorenzetti
    Ambrogio Lorenzetti was an Italian painter of the Sienese school. He was active between approximately 1317 to 1348. His elder brother was the painter Pietro Lorenzetti....

    , Palazzo Pubblico
    Palazzo Pubblico
    The Palazzo Pubblico is a palace in Siena, Tuscany, central Italy. Construction began in 1297 and its original purpose was to house the republican government, consisting of the Podestà and Council of Nine....

    , Siena
    Siena
    Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

  • Piero della Francesca
    Piero della Francesca
    Piero della Francesca was a painter of the Early Renaissance. As testified by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Artists, to contemporaries he was also known as a mathematician and geometer. Nowadays Piero della Francesca is chiefly appreciated for his art. His painting was characterized by its...

    , Chiesa di San Francesco, Arezzo
    Arezzo
    Arezzo is a city and comune in Central Italy, capital of the province of the same name, located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2011 the population was about 100,000....

  • Ghirlandaio
    Domenico Ghirlandaio
    Domenico Ghirlandaio was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence. Among his many apprentices was Michelangelo.-Early years:Ghirlandaio's full name is given as Domenico di Tommaso di Currado di Doffo Bigordi...

    , Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
  • The Last Supper
    The Last Supper (Leonardo)
    The Last Supper is a 15th century mural painting in Milan created by Leonardo da Vinci for his patron Duke Ludovico Sforza and his duchess Beatrice d'Este...

    , Leonardo Da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

    , Milan (technically a tempera
    Tempera
    Tempera, also known as egg tempera, is a permanent fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed with a water-soluble binder medium . Tempera also refers to the paintings done in this medium. Tempera paintings are very long lasting, and examples from the 1st centuries AD still exist...

     on plaster and stone, not a true fresco)
  • Sistine Chapel
    Sistine Chapel
    Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio...

     Wall series: Botticelli
    Sandro Botticelli
    Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

    , Perugino
    Pietro Perugino
    Pietro Perugino , born Pietro Vannucci, was an Italian Renaissance painter of the Umbrian school, who developed some of the qualities that found classic expression in the High Renaissance...

    , Rossellini
    Rossellini
    Rossellini is a common Italian family name in Italy. Other spellings include: Rosselini.Rossellini may refers to:* Roberto Rossellini, Italian film director, and brother of Renzo** Renzo Rossellini, producer, son of Roberto...

    , Signorelli
    Luca Signorelli
    Luca Signorelli was an Italian Renaissance painter who was noted in particular for his ability as a draughtsman and his use of foreshortening...

    , and Ghirlandaio
    Domenico Ghirlandaio
    Domenico Ghirlandaio was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence. Among his many apprentices was Michelangelo.-Early years:Ghirlandaio's full name is given as Domenico di Tommaso di Currado di Doffo Bigordi...

  • Luca Signorelli
    Luca Signorelli
    Luca Signorelli was an Italian Renaissance painter who was noted in particular for his ability as a draughtsman and his use of foreshortening...

    , Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto
    Orvieto
    Orvieto is a city and comune in Province of Terni, southwestern Umbria, Italy situated on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff...


Italian "High Renaissance"
  • Michelangelo
    Michelangelo
    Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

    's Sistine Chapel ceiling
    Sistine Chapel ceiling
    The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, at the commission of Pope Julius II, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling is that of the large Papal Chapel built within the Vatican between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV after whom it is named...

  • Raphael
    Raphael
    Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

    's Vatican Stanza
  • Raphael
    Raphael
    Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

    's Villa Farnesina
    Villa Farnesina
    The Villa Farnesina is a Renaissance suburban villa in the Via della Lungara, in the district of Trastevere in Rome, central Italy.The villa was built for Agostino Chigi, a rich Sienese banker and the treasurer of Pope Julius II. Between 1506–1510, the Sienese artist and pupil of Bramante,...

  • Giulio Romano
    Giulio Romano
    Giulio Romano was an Italian painter and architect. A pupil of Raphael, his stylistic deviations from high Renaissance classicism help define the 16th-century style known as Mannerism...

    's Palazzo del Tè
    Palazzo del Te
    Palazzo del Te or Palazzo Te is a palace in the suburbs of Mantua, Italy. It is a fine example of the mannerist style of architecture, the acknowledged masterpiece of Giulio Romano...

    , Mantua
  • Mantegna
    Andrea Mantegna
    Andrea Mantegna was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son in law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, e.g., by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality...

    , Camera degli Sposi, Palazzo Ducale
    Palazzo Ducale di Mantova
    The Palazzo Ducale di Mantova is a group of buildings in Mantua, Lombardy, northern Italy, built between the 14th and the 17th century mainly by the noble family of Gonzaga as their royal residence in the capital of their Duchy. The buildings are connected by corridors and galleries and are...

    , Mantua
    Mantua
    Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...

  • The dome of the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore
    Santa Maria del Fiore
    The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church of Florence, Italy. The Duomo, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi...

     of Florence


Italian Baroque
  • The Loves of the Gods
    The Loves of the Gods (Carracci)
    The Loves of the Gods is a monumental fresco cycle, completed by the Bolognese artist Annibale Carracci and his studio, in the Farnese Gallery which is located in the west wing of the Palazzo Farnese, now the French Embassy) in Rome, Italy...

    , Annibale Carracci
    Annibale Carracci
    Annibale Carracci was an Italian Baroque painter.-Early career:Annibale Carracci was born in Bologna, and in all likelihood first apprenticed within his family...

    , Palazzo Farnese
  • Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power
    Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power (Cortona)
    The Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power is a fresco by Italian painter Pietro da Cortona, filling the large ceiling of the grand salon of the Palazzo Barberini in Rome, Italy. Begun in 1633, it was nearly finished in three years; upon Cortona's return from Venice, it was extensively...

    , Pietro da Cortona
    Pietro da Cortona
    Pietro da Cortona, by the name of Pietro Berrettini, born Pietro Berrettini da Cortona, was the leading Italian Baroque painter of his time and also one of the key architects in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture. He was also an important decorator...

    , Palazzo Barberini
    Palazzo Barberini
    Palazzo Barberini is a palace in Rome, facing the piazza of the same name in Rione Trevi and is home to the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica.-History:...

  • Ceilings, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
    Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
    Giovanni Battista Tiepolo , also known as Gianbattista or Giambattista Tiepolo, was an Italian painter and printmaker from the Republic of Venice...

    , (New Residenz) Würzburg, (Royal Palace) Madrid, (Villa Pisani) Stra, and others; Wall scenes (Villa Valmarana and Palazzo Labia)
  • Nave ceiling, Andrea Pozzo
    Andrea Pozzo
    Andrea Pozzo was an Italian Jesuit Brother, Baroque painter and architect, decorator, stage designer, and art theoretician. He was best known for his grandiose frescoes using illusionistic technique called quadratura, in which architecture and fancy are intermixed...

    , Sant'Ignazio, Rome

Czech Republic
  • The Ducal Rotunda of the Virgin Mary and St Catherine
    The Ducal Rotunda of the Virgin Mary and St Catherine
    The Ducal Rotunda of the Virgin Mary and St Catherine is Znojmo's most valuable monument, and features the oldest fresco in the Czech Republic.- External links :* *...

     in Znojmo
    Znojmo
    Znojmo is a city in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic, near the border with Lower Austria, connected to Vienna by railway and road . The royal city of Znojmo was founded shortly before 1226 by King Ottokar I on the plains in front of Znojmo Castle...

    , Czech Republic
    Czech Republic
    The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....



Mexico
  • Fresco Cycle of The Miracles of the Virgin of Guadalupe by Fernando Leal, at Basilica of Guadalupe, Mexico City
    Mexico City
    Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

    , Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

  • Fresco Cycle of Bolivar's Epic by Fernando Leal, at Colegio de San Ildefonso
    Colegio de San Ildefonso
    In 1595, Fr. Antonio Sedeno, Fr. Pedro Chirino, and Antonio Pereira of the Society of Jesus established a grammar school attached to the Jesuit residence in Cebu City. In 1606, it was officially named as the Colegio de San Ildefonso...

    , Mexico City
    Mexico City
    Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

    , Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...



Serbian Medieval
  • Visoki Dečani

In Venice


The climate and environment of Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 has proved to be a problem for frescoes and other works of art in the city for centuries. The city is built on a lagoon in northern Italy. The humidity and the rise of water over the centuries have created a phenomenon known as rising damp. As the lagoon water rises and seeps into the foundation of a building, the water is absorbed and rises up through the walls often causing damage to frescoes. Venetians have become quite adept in the conservation methods of frescoes.

The following is the process that was used when rescuing frescos in La Fenice, a Venetian opera house, but it is the same process for similarly damaged frescoes. First, a protection and support bandage of cotton gauze and polyvinyl alcohol is applied. Difficult sections are removed with soft brushes and localized vacuuming. The other areas that are easier to remove (because they had been damaged by less water) are removed with a paper pulp compress saturated with bicarbonate of ammonia solutions and removed with deionized water. These sections are strengthened and reattached then cleansed with base exchange resin compresses and the wall and pictorial layer were strengthened with barium hydrate. The cracks and detachments are stopped with lime putty and injected with an epoxy resin loaded with micronized silica.

See also

  • Gambier Parry process
    Gambier Parry process
    The Gambier Parry process is a development of the classical technique of fresco for painting murals, named for Thomas Gambier Parry.In some environments, conventional fresco colours can rapidly accumulate dirt and grime. Gambier Parry developed a spirit medium for use on a specially prepared...

  • Mural
    Mural
    A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A particularly distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.-History:Murals of...

  • Sigiriya Frescoes
    Sigiriya
    Sigiriya is a large stone and ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures...

  • Arbore
    Arbore
    Arbore is a commune located in Suceava County, Romania. It is composed of three villages: Arbore, Bodnăreni and Clit.-Church of Arbore:Arbore is best known for its church, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. Its painted church was the first Moldavian painted church to be included on the UNESCO...

  • Haveli
    Haveli
    Haveli is the term used for a private mansion in India and Pakistan. The word haveli is derived from the Persian word hawli, meaning "an enclosed place"...


External links




Fresco technique described