At each end of the academy’s new cast hall are two shallow arched shapes called lunettes which are created by the elliptical vault of the ceiling. These spaces will become the first of an overall ceiling fresco decoration to be completed by the academy’s Mural Guild.
We are fortunate to collaborate on this project with plaster artisan Patrick Webb who recently began the preparation process by applying the arriccio, or brown coat of plaster onto an existing first layer called the scratch coat. A mixture of lime putty and sand is spread evenly over the area to be painted in fresco and allowed to dry thoroughly. This surface will eventually serve as a ground for the final thin layer of plaster called the intonaco into which the fresco is painted.
For more information on this ancient and demanding technique see Patrick Webb’s post on Buon Fresco.