This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
This course will provide you with the material techniques and art historical context to understand Italian fresco painting. The art of fresco is particularly varied and includes drawing, painting, color theory, and plaster preparation. You will leave the course with knowledge of these techniques and be familiar with both the history of the fresco and its important artists and their work in central Italy.
As a multi-media workshop, this course combines elements of art history and studio art. While the goal is to provide an introduction to the history of fresco painting in central Italy from the Roman period to the Renaissance, it is also to study the traditional techniques of fresco painting and engage in the production of fresco work. You will learn all the phases of fresco making, from mortar mixing and surface preparation, drawing studies and transfer, to dry pigment preparation and application. Your projects may vary according to background and interest, from research projects to actual paintings, and, due to the scope of the subject, collaborations and group projects are encouraged. You will display your finished work in an end-of-term art show held at the Institute.
You are responsible for all required materials, which you can bring with you or purchase locally. Such materials include:
- powdered pigments: terra verde, terra di ombra bruciata, terra di siena, terra di siena bruciata, sinopia, ocra gialla, blu oltremare, nero vite, an earth red (cinnabro, ventian red, english red, or pompeii red);
- a small watercolor set and watercolor paper;
- brushes- round, boars hair, various sizes;
- several pencils, vine charcoal, and an eraser;
- several sheets of drawing paper (about 50×70 cm);
- glass jars with lids, one for every color;
- a plastic pallet (with mixing cups);
- an apron, smock, or painting clothes (highly suggested); and
- any additional materials that will be assigned accordingly.
- Giorgio Vasari’s On Technique and Ralph Mayer’s The Artists’ Handbook of Materials and Techniques will be on reserve in the library
- Mandatory course reader
Service Learning Project Description
This course partners with a neighborhood organization in Perugia where, together, will create an artistic outlet for your artwork to be shared with the larger community. Past students resurfaced, designed, and painted a fresco of the Perugia skyline in the sensory garden of Fontenuovo, a residency for the elderly in Perugia’s historic city center, in celebration of their 130th anniversary. At the end of the semester, you will present your project to the Umbra community.