11 Jun A FRESCO FOR OUTDOOR LIVING
We are now in the middle of spring and summer and the time has come to start enjoying the outdoors and those spaces of our home that we seldom visit during the winter months. Porticoes, terraces, balconies and gardens are the places where we like to relax during the warmer months, places that can be embellished with decorations and ornaments to create a new and welcoming atmosphere.
A landscape fresco by Mariani under the portico of a villa
To understand how we can decorate the outside of our home we spoke with Alberto Mariani.
1) Can frescoes be used to decorate outdoor areas?
“Absolutely. Frescoes were historically used to decorate interiors as well as exteriors. Thanks to the chemical reaction called “carbonatation”, the painted layer becomes extremely resistant to factors such as humidity, sunlight and external agents.
Some medieval-style paintings by Mariani Affreschi in the Castello di Montalfeo of Pavia
2) Can the design be ruined by external agents over time?
If the fresco is created according to the highest professional standards, if we think in terms of a few decades, it will not require any maintenance or restoration since it can easily withstand the aforementioned factors. Considering a time span of many centuries, instead, it is true that even a fresco can be attacked by external agents, just like any other element created by nature or artificially. The extent of these agents is nevertheless limited, and the fresco can be restored by suitable restoration works, as currently occurs for frescoes that are hundreds of years old. We can take comfort in the fact that our descendents will fit this bill in many, many years from now….
3) What type of fresco goes well under a portico or on a terrace?
We can think in the same terms as we do for the inside of our home. If we have a niche to decorate, an important piece of work can be the most elegant solution. You can choose between a landscape, a decorative element (lemon plants or olive trees, for example) and a sacred scene, often found in the roadside shrines of our cities.
Whereas, diamond shapes, friezes and decorations based on the style of the home can enhance the architecture of the building.