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Wall Paintings Fresco Technique. Fresco Technique All of the paintings we will be looking at use the fresco technique. The modern distinction between.

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Presentation on theme: "Wall Paintings Fresco Technique. Fresco Technique All of the paintings we will be looking at use the fresco technique. The modern distinction between."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wall Paintings Fresco Technique

2 Fresco Technique All of the paintings we will be looking at use the fresco technique. The modern distinction between “painter” as in artist and “house painter” did not really exist in ancient Pompeii. The painter was artist, craftsman and interior decorator Paintings were NOT portable- they were a permanent part of the interior décor. A new painting could not simply be painted over the old one. The plaster would have to be stripped off (a major task that would not have happened often).

3 Some of the wall paintings in Pompeii had been done a 100 years or more BEFORE the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD The earthquake in 62 AD resulted in the re- decoration of rooms that would otherwise might have been left untouched for decades longer. Roman artists were heavily influenced by the Greeks. They adapted theories of composition, colour, style and subject matter from them. Landscapes, portraits and mythological scenes were all part of an overall decorative scheme.

4 How were frescos made? Coloured pigment mixed with water (paint) was applied to fresh plaster on the walls. The pigment mixed with water bonded chemically to the wall as it was absorbed by the wet plaster. When the plaster dried after a number of hours the pigment became fused with the plaster. Many layers were needed. Cheaper work would have had fewer layers. For best quality 5 or 6 layers would be required It was an extremely long lasting method of painting.

5 A rough rendering coat applied to the wall. This provided a “key”- a rough surface to which the plaster would adhere. Several successive layers of plaster consisting of lime mixed with sand or pozzolana (grit) Two or more further coats of lime, this time mixed with a much finer material such as powdered marble. The final layer would be smooth. The painting was done while the final plaster coat was still damp. This meant that the paint was not on the top of the plaster, but was actually absorbed into it. Large paintings had to be done in smaller sections because the paint had to be applied before the plaster dried. The paint consisted of various natural pigments some of which were cheap (chalk, soot, red ochre) while others were more expensive. The shiny effect was obtained either by a layer of wax which was polished with cloths or by incorporating marble powder into the pigments The design would have been sketched on the wall and the background colours & main figures then painted in. Some of the finer detail was painted over the background colour once the plaster was dry.

6 The Four Styles There are FOUR styles in Roman wall painting. They are based on historical stages. Styles relate to the general appearance of the decorated wall as a WHOLE, not to the style of an individual panel or area. Chronology: First Stylec BC Second Stylec. 80 BC – 14 AD Third Stylec. 14 – 62 AD Fourth Stylec. 45 – 79 AD


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