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History of Frescos - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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a short history of frescos

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Fresco (freshin Italiano) - wall painting technique involving painting on wet plaster. Other names are al buon fresco and fresco.Commonly (incorrectly) the term fresco refers to all themurals made using different techniques. Correctly name of the fresco, however, applies only to those that have been done on wet plaster.The fresco is one of the most difficult techniques of painting, as duringitsapplication itis virtually impossible to make any changes. It is, however, the most durable type of wall painting.



The frescoes are painted on wet plaster made as a multilayer with layers made of mortars of different composition. The first layer, called arriciato lies directly on the wall, it is thick. It contains slaked lime, coarse sand and pieces of bricks or stones. The second layer is intonaco. This is a layer smooth for painting. It contains slaked lime, fine sand or dust strained marble. On this layer youcanbegin painting a fresco.

The fresco is painted with special paint brushes. Paints contain dyes resistant to alkaline effect of calcium. The dye is distributed by rainwater. Fresco is durable because it is bonded to the substrate, in this wayyouachieve persistent, intense colors.


The origins date back to ancient times. The most knownfrescoesareMinoan frescoes, inwhich religious subjects, animal and vegetable motifs and cryptic tauromachie - a fight scene or play with bulls, dominate.


"The Parisians"

In the fourteenth and fifteenth century truefrescoes, likebuon fresco (performed on fresh and still wet plaster) werepainted quite rare. The only examples of this technique at thistime was Giotto's frescoes in the chapel in Padua Scrovenich and the frescoes in the chapel MasacciaBranccacich in Florence

Unique frescoes in the Basilica of Sandomierz

More popular was a semi-fresco, or al fresco - after dryingthechanges were made using organic dyes.Thereis a huge developmentsince Giotto's fresco. But itis mostly widespread in the Renaissance. After the baroque fresco technique is virtually abandoned. From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, al fresco is mixed with the al secco.

Christ and the apostles Peter, John, Philip, Thomas, Jude Thaddeus,

a painting from the twelfth century


Crete and Egypt

The earliest known examples frescoes done in the Buon Fresco method date at around 1500 BC and can 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 unknown.

"The Toreador Fresco„

c. 1500 BCE.

The most common forms of frescoin Egypt were wall paintings in tombs, usually using the a secco technique.

Osiris and Horus from the tomb

in the Valley of the Kings

classical antiquity
Classical antiquity

Frescoes were also painted in ancient Greece, but few of these works have survived. In southern Italy, at Paestum, which was a Greek colony, a tomb containing frescoes dating back to 470 BC, so called Tomb of the Diver was discovered in 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 while another shows a young man diving into the sea.

„Paestum diver”

indian fresco
Indian fresco

A lot of frescoes can be found 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 tales that are stories of the Buddha's life in former existences as Bodhisattva.

„Jataka Tales”

Other locations with valuable preserved ancient and early medieval frescoes include Bagh Caves, Ellora Caves, Sittanavasal, Armamalai Cave, Badami Cave Temples and other locations. Frescoes have been made in several techniques including tempera technique.
middle ages
Middle Ages

The late Medieval period and the Renaissance 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 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.

King Waldemar IV and Queen Jadwiga,

a Danish medieval church mural. Peter Næstved

One of the rare examples of Islamic fresco painting can be seen in QasrAmra, the desert palace of the Umayyads in the 8th century.
  • Qasr Amra mural,
  • Pergamon Museum, Berlin
early modern europe
Early modern Europe

Northern Romania there are 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.

Voronet - painted church- the Last Judgement .

The Foujita chapel in Reims completed in 1966, is an example of modern frescos, the interior being painted with religious scenes by the School of Paris painter Tsuguharu Foujita. In 1996, it was designated an historic monument by the French Government.

Fresco Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, Rome, Italy.

mexican muralism

Jose Clemente Orozco, David Siqueiros and Diego Rivera the famous Mexican artists renewed the art of fresco painting in the 20th century. Orozco, Siqueiros, Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo 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, Rivera's large wall works in fresco established the art movement known as Mexican Muralism.

Totonaca Civilization;

Great Pyramid Of Tajin 1950 Diego

Rivera (1886-1957 Mexican)

selected examples of frescoes
Selectedexamples of frescoes

Fresco by Dionisiusrepresenting Saint Nicholas in a Ferapontov Monastery.

Dante Domenico di Michelino's Divine Comedy in Duomo of Florence.


The presentation made :

Anna Giesa

Anna Grondys

1F class