ARTS(F)400 Fresco Painting - Section A, Tiziano Lucchesi, Summer I 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS(F)400 Fresco Painting - Section A, Tiziano Lucchesi, Summer I 2019

Fresco painting is a class where the fascinating and time-proven process of painting on fresh plaster is taught. Beginning with the drawing of the first cartoon, students learn to prepare and apply calce (lime), execute a fresco, and then how to remove it for transportation. This class is of great value not only to studio art majors, but also to art history majors, and persons interested in conservation.

The class includes trips to Renaissance and modern frescos in Florence.



Week 1

Monday, May 20
Introduction. Explanation of the tools to be used in the course.
Introduction to the use of the fresco manual.
Explanation of the "buonfresco" method.


STUDIO ACTIVITY: Preparation of the drawing in black and white, cartoon (monocromo), of the spolvero and mestiche (preliminary colors), sinopia preparation of the plaster (rough layer) cm. 20x20. 

Wednesday, May 22

STUDIO ACTIVITY: Preparation of the cartoon and spolvero. Execution of the sinopia on the arriccio.
Preparation of the fine plaster and the layer. Continuation of the study of colors.
Visit to frescos in churches in Florence (Cenaclo di Sant'Apollonia and the Church of Santa Trinita).


Week 2

Monday, May 27
Painting in Fresco.
THEORY: Live Demonstration, so that each student performs the same steps as the instructor.

STUDIO ACTIVITY: First day of FRESCO painting of the first copy of Michelangelo.

Wednesday, May 29
Discussion and evaluation of finished work.
THEORY: Class on Old Master techniques, binders, and pigments.
Lecture on organic binders used in different painting media and often applied on frescos after drying.

STUDIO ACTIVITY: Retouching of frescos with "a dry technique."
Preparation of the second copy, sketch in black and white, sketch in color, preparatory cartoon of the spolvero and the preliminary colors (mestiche).
Retouching and decorations using gold leaf and other possible decorative methods.


Week 3

Monday, June 3
STUDIO ACTIVITY: Begin the process for the second copy in fresco.
Preparation of the cartoon and the spolvero. Preparation of the plaster.

EXTEMPORE: Students will execute an independent fresco, the second fresco copy.

Wednesday, June 5
Theory and video explanations of other mural painting techniques.
Preparation of the final group project.
Preparation of the support, the drawing, and all the materials for the execution.


Week 4

Monday, June 10
Begin the final project.

Wednesday, June 12
Final project.


Week 5

Monday, June 17
Final project.

Wednesday, June 19
Final Exam.

Project List

A minimum of four frescos. The third fresco can be performed on a special support so that you can easily take it home at the end of the semester. Depending on the number of students in the class, the final project may be individual or a group project, designing a drawing to be made directly on the studio wall (or in a proper location) or individual portable frescoes on panels.

Projects Late Spring 2019

•    A minimum of two fresco paintings by the great masters, with relative drawings and chromatic designs, 30x30 cm. on inorganic support,.
•    One personal fresco 30x30 cm on a special support.
•    A glossy soap fresco (fake marble) 30x30 cm.
•    An individual project on a mobile support, or a group project on a studio wall or in an appropriate location.

Grading and Attendance Policies

Pre-requisites: none

The course includes the 4 assignments described above.
Research and short papers may be assigned throughout the course.
Scheduled due dates might be subject to change.

Graudate Students
Students in MFA, MA, and Post-Bac programs are expected to produce work at a level appropriate for students in a graduate program. They are required to additionally complete an in-depth study on one of the assigned topics by writing a short paper and by making a visual slideshow presentation in class. If they successfully complete the requirements for graduate students, they will receive graduate-level credit for the course. 

Attendance is mandatory, absence will impact final grade. For every two unexcused absences, your grade will be lowered by 1/3 of a letter. Two late arrivals to class are considered the equivalent of one unexcused absence. Students who do not stay for the duration of a class session should be marked absent. Students who miss more than 20% of a course owing to unexcused absences cannot be given a passing grade for the course.

Grades are based on attendance, proficiency, effort, and improvement.
Grades range from A+ to F.  The SACI grading scale follows:
A+    Outstanding
A      Excellent
A-     Nearly Excellent
B+    Very Good 
B      Good 
B-     Nearly Good
C+    Above Satisfactory 
C      Satisfactory 
C-     Below Satisfactory 
D      Unsatisfactory 
F       Failure 

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency Instructions.

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