Italian Frescos - Blog | A FRESCO TO COMMEMORATE THE CANONISATION OF POPE JOHN XXIII AND POPE JOHN PAUL II
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A FRESCO TO COMMEMORATE THE CANONISATION OF POPE JOHN XXIII AND POPE JOHN PAUL II

A FRESCO TO COMMEMORATE THE CANONISATION OF POPE JOHN XXIII AND POPE JOHN PAUL II

On 27 April 2014, in St Peter’s square, thousands of people witnessed the historic canonisation of two former popes: John XXIII and John Paul II, celebrated by Pope Francis with the help of Pope Benedict XVI. This memorable event in the history of the Church was a joyous experience for millions or even billions of people.

Many faithful and collectors would like to own a work that celebrates the two sanctified Popes. For this purpose, a customer commissioned Mariani Affreschi to create two special frescoes: a portrait of Pope John XXIII and one of Pope John Paul II.

The two paintings were ordered by an American dealer specialising in religious items, and will be included in a special catalogue to ensure that customers can buy multiple copies of the same work authenticated by Mariani Affreschi.

We decided to pay tribute to art lovers by publishing exclusive photos of the two frescoes.

Like most of the works produced by Mariani Affreschi, these paintings were created using the authentic “strappo” technique (“Calicot” method), which consists of two stages: the actual painting of the fresco and its transfer onto canvas. Let’s examine this in detail.

By definition, the fresco is a painting painted on a fresh (plaster) base with natural colours (pigments) and lime mortar. The procedure requires great experience and speed because the work must be completed before the plaster dries.

L'artista dipinge l'affresco (di Papa Giovanni Paolo II e Papa Giovanni XXIII) con terre naturali su intonaco e calce

An artist painting the fresco (of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII) with natural earth pigments on plaster and lime mortar

VIDEO of a Mariani Affreschi artist painting the fresco of Pope John Paul II

When the painting is finished, the artist gives the work to the “strappo” technicians, who prepare a special glue to be spread over the fresco on which is then applied a canvas. When the glue dries, the canvas is pulled off and the painting remains stuck to the canvas in “negative”.

Un tecnico incolla la prima tela sull'affresco finito

An expert glues the first canvas onto the finished fresco painting

Quando la colla è asciutta, si può strappare l'affresco. La pellicola murale resta incollata alla tela e si vede "al negativo"

Once the glue is dry, the fresco is pulled off. The wall layer remains glued to the canvas and a “negative” image of the painting can be seen

The second stage called “riporto” involves transferring the fresco to a second canvas, using new glue different from the first. After being left to dry for a few days, the fresco is washed and the first canvas is removed, thus bringing it back to “positive” on the second canvas.

La fase di lavaggio, per sciogliere la prima colla e lasciare l'affresco sulla seconda tela, ora "in positivo"

The washing stage removes the first glue and leaves a “positive” image of the fresco on the second canvas

The fresco painting is then framed and retouched to revive the colours after this intense process.

Dopo aver intelaiato l'affresco, il restauratore ne cura gli ultimi dettagli

After framing the fresco, the restorer adds some finishing touches

Fresco painting guarantees extremely natural and long-lasting colours that preserve the images over time. Never has this procedure been more suited to celebrate an historic event destined to be remembered for centuries.

L'opera completa: il ritratto ad affresco di Papa Giovanni Paolo II e Papa Giovanni XXIII

The completed work: the frescoed portrait of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII

5 Comments
  • lino zoino
    Posted at 20:12h, 24 May

    Ciao Mariani, congratulazioni per la commessa,
    siete dei grandi artisti, con questo lavoro importante, entrerete nella storia.
    con affetto
    Lino Zoino

  • Paolo De Guidi di Artigiani Italiani
    Posted at 17:59h, 25 May

    mi può interessare prezzi per rivendere nei miei clienti ( paesi dell’est e russia) è una bella cosa grazie attendo

  • Pino Urso
    Posted at 10:25h, 26 May

    Siete fantastici. Peccato che il mercato italiano al dettaglio soffra così tanto in questo periodo, privando la gente di tante belle cose. Speriamo in bene. Un caro saluto a tutti Voi.
    Pino Urso.
    Ad majora!

  • ALAIMO E GULINO Conservazione e Restauro
    Posted at 10:03h, 27 May

    Attraverso una tecnica perfetta riuscite a trasmettere la serenità e la gioia di vivere dei due santi anche nella sofferenza.Complimenti

  • MARLA CHAVES
    Posted at 15:14h, 26 March

    Adoro o vosso trabalho ,desde há muiiitos anos. Um dia gostaria de visitar vos.Breschia nao é? minha irma vive em Sarono mas já lhe disse que tenho que ir um dia aí e adorava visitar atelier de trabalho. Sou medica mas tenho grande interesse na tecnica de frescos e foi em Italia (Nápoles) que adquiri esse interesse.(até fiz um curso para compreender a tecnica. Abraços de Portugal

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