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1,347 artworks, 197 artists
Fresco (it. fresco — fresh), affresco is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid ("wet") lime plaster. In this case, the surface of the paint becomes smooth or grainy, and when dry, it forms a thin transparent film of calcium carbonate, which secures the applied layer and makes the artwork durable. To paint frescoes, artists use mineral paints, the palette of colours is not rich or bright, but the solution penetrates into the undercoat and creates a durable, wear-resistant image after hardening. Mural artists paint in large and sliding strokes to create the large-scale artworks and monumental wall paintings. Fresco has become inextricably associated with architecture.
Fresco painting appeared in Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire, and it later sread to Greece and Byzantium. Medieval artists used the technique to decorate temples, palaces, and homes of the aristocrats. During the Renaissance, the art of wall painting experienced a rapid flourishing, and Italian artists created large-scale beautiful works on religious and mythological subjects. From the late 18th century, the fresco became a secular art, and it kept its decorative function until the middle of the 20th century.
The main advantage of fresco painting is in the durability of an image: in the 21st century, theart lovers can still admire the works of art that are thousands years old. The surface of the picture is matte, it does not give light glares, and the viewer can see gigantic works without distortion. Muted and soft shades make up the palette of the frescoes, and the image is light and airy. Wall painters use plaster, mineral pigments, water, tempera and glue. The technique does not allow detailing of an image, therefore, fresco paintings on religious, mythological, battle and everyday subjects are large-scale ones and they are classified as a type of monumental painting.
Fresco (it. affresco — “fresh”) is a technique for painting walls on lime plaster. Depending on the state of the base, a distinction is made between fresco, when the painting is made on a damp plastered wall, and fresco-secco, when the basis of the image is an already dry wall. Artists use aqueous solutions of pigments that are resistant to alkaline reactions. On the surface of the plaster, moistened with lime water, pigments are absorbed into the top layer, which calcifies after drying and becomes very resistant to moisture. It is known for sure that during the time of the ancient Aegean culture, frescoes have already become a popular decoration of the house walls. The artists of Ancient Egypt, the ancient Greeks and Romans used painting on lime plaster quite professionally to decorate the interiors of temples, as well as noble palaces, e. g. the famous frescoes found by archaeologists during excavations of ancient Pompeii. The craftsmen used several layers of plaster with different fillers, increasing its drying time thereby and giving themselves the opportunity for comfortable painting on a damp surface. The ancient fresco painting of Byzantium, like the Greek technique, involved at least two layers of lime mortar and the surface carefully smoothed after painting. The new heyday of fresco painting fell on the Renaissance. By the beginning of the 14th century, Italian artists moved away from the Byzantine art canons and began to develop their own artistic and technical methods. After developing of the composition, the area of the future fresco was divided into sections that could be sketched in one working day — giornatas, which were joined together according to the picture outlines. The image was transferred from the cardboard to the wall in parts. An experienced artist could paint 3 to 4 square meters of walls during a day. Bright green and blue colours could only be applied after the fresco was completely dry: there were no water-soluble pigments of such colours that were resistant to alkali at that time. Most of the Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo and Raphael, preferred to apply frescoes on wet or slightly damp plaster surfaces. Later, Tiepolo, Tintoretto, Vasari joined their choice. The works created during this period predominantly had religious content (less often, mythological) and adorned the external and internal walls of temples, and the spatial dimensions of the frescoes were amazing. Today, almost any pictorial interior design is called a fresco - regardless of the technique of its execution. This is primarily due to the extremely rare use of lime plasters for wall covering. Most people associate modern fresco with painted decor; it is rather a design than an artistic solution. Famous fresco artworks: The Arrest of Christ (Kiss of Judas), Scrovegni Chapel, Giotto di Bondone, 1306 The Last Judgment. Painting of the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir. Andrei Rublev, 1408 Frescoes of the Brancacci Chapel. Tommaso Masaccio. 1428, The Resurrection, Piero della Francesca, 1460 The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, 1490s Frescoes on the subject of the Miracles of Saint Anthony of Padua, Titian Vecellio, 1511 Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo Buonarotti, 1512 Famous artists who painted frescoes: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Giotto di Bondone, Paolo Uccello, Piero della Francesca, Filippo Lippi, Andrea Mantegna, Tommaso Masaccio, Titian Vecellio, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Leonardo da Vinci, Annibale Carracci, Andrei Rublev.