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ETYM Italian, from fresco fresh; of German origin. Related to Fresh.
1. A durable method of painting on a wall by using watercolors on wet plaster.
2. A mural done with watercolors on wet plaster.
Water-color painting on wet plaster.
Mural painting technique using water-based paint on wet plaster. Some of the earliest frescoes (about 1750–1400 BC) were found in Knossos, Crete (now preserved in the Heraklion Museum). Fresco reached its finest expression in Italy from the 13th to the 17th centuries. Giotto, Masaccio, Michelangelo, and many other artists worked in the medium. In the 20th century the Mexican muralists Orozco and Rivera used fresco.
The plaster is applied to a brick or stone wall in several coatings, the first (arriccio), half an inch thick, to the whole wall at once; the two finer coatings (intonaco) only to that portion of the wall which it is intended to paint in any one day so that it may not be dry before receiving the pigments. In drying, a crystal surface of carbonate of lime forms over the plaster, and it is essential that the pigments should be there ready to receive this coating, which is protective to them and gives them clearness. When the plasterer has covered the portion of the wall to be painted, the painter superimposes the cartoon and pricks off the outlines with an instrument of wood or bone, or makes an impression of it by pouncing. The cartoon is then removed and the colors are applied, becoming incorporated with the substance of the plaster, and if the process is properly carried out, being as lasting as the plaster itself. As the joins of each section of plaster remain perceptible, it is possible to calculate the nu.
Mber of days occupied by the whole work. The colors, principally earths or minerals, which best resist the chemical action of the lime, are ground and mixed with pure water and applied thinly and transparently, rather darker than the desired effect because they become paler in drying. Fresco must be executed rapidly and its effects produced by single touches of the brush. It follows that the painter must be skilled enough to work with the utmost decision and certainty, and also that the whole work must be previously planned with great thoroughness. Hence the necessity of the full-sized cartoon and the many detailed studies artists made. Buon fresco, the true method, is distinguished from fresco secco (“dry fresco”), painted on dry plaster. The result of the latter method was far less durable, though fresco secco was sometimes employed to add final touches to work carried out in true fresco.
Sinonimi: wall painting
A painting that is applied to a wall surface; SYN. wall painting.