Fresco, meaning fresh in Italian, is the revered art of painting on fast-drying damp plaster with water based pigments. During the Renaissance, fresco painting was considered the true test of an artist's skill, since one had to finish before the plaster dried in order to ensure the adhesion of the image to the wall. During this 3-hour hands-on Florence Fresco Workshop, we'll learn basic fresco technique from a local Florentine artist who is a master of fresco painting. Proceeding along the same time-consuming, but deeply rewarding, process that artists like Michelangelo and Rafael used to paint some of the finest masterworks from the era, we'll put our artistic skills to the test, learning just what it takes to create the kind of stunning frescoes one can see throughout Florence. Along the way, we'll gain a deeper, tactile understanding of the development, creation, and legacy of Renaissance art.
Florence Fresco Workshop
Our session begins with a visit to the studio of our docent, an accomplished fresco artist, and a brief discussion of the history of fresco. What is it? How did it develop over the centuries? Does it really involve eggs? And, why was it considered the most difficult medium for a Renaissance artist? This will provide us with the necessary historical context to both appreciate the task we are about to undergo, and to look at Renaissance frescos in a new light, not merely enjoying them for their aesthetic quality but for the process by which they were actualized. We will also take a look at some of the greatest examples of fresco painting, including masterworks of some of Florence's greatest artists.
We will then be taken through the steps of preparing a surface, drawing and transferring a drawing (cartoon), and finally applying the paint. Be warned. It's difficult. It's also, however, a lot of fun. Along the way our docent will give us tips and advice, and continue his discussion about fresco and its place in the pantheon of art. At the end, we'll go home with our own hand-made fresco painting.
The primary objective of this workshop is to explore first-hand the art of fresco painting by using the same materials and techniques of the Renaissance masters. Our docent's method of combining art historical knowledge with artistic practice provides for a unique educational and entertaining experience for travelers of all ages.
How long will it take for the fresco to dry?
Each individual fresco is comprised of a thin layer of plaster on a rectangular terra cotta roofing tile and thus dries quickly. It will not be completely dry by the end of the workshop, but the expert will wrap it in newspaper so that you can take it with you when you leave. It will fully dry within a few hours, however you may want to be careful when packing it in your suitcase anyway.