Fresco (plural either frescos or frescoes) is any of several related mural painting types, done on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Italian word affresco which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". The earliest known examples frescoes done in the Buon Fresco method date at around 1500 BC and are to be found on the island of Crete in Greece. While some similar frescoes have been found in other locations around the Mediterranean basin, particularly in Egypt and Morocco, their origins are subject to speculation. The most common form of fresco was Egyptian wall paintings in tombs. Frescoes were also painted in ancient Greece, but few of these works have survived. In southern Italy, at Paestum, which was a Greek colony of the Magna Graecia, a tomb containing frescoes dating back to 470 BC, in the so called Tomb of the Diver. These frescoes depict scenes of the life and society of ancient Greece, and constitute valuable historical testimonials. One shows a group of men reclining at a symposium while another shows a young man diving into the sea. In Macedonia, however, we find that frescos decorated houses, palaces, and tombs of the Macedonians.
Roman wall paintings, such as those at the magnificent Villa dei Misteri (1st century B.C.) in the ruins of Pompeii, and others at Herculaneum, were completed in buon fresco. Late Roman Empire (Christian) 1st-2nd century frescoes were found in catacombs beneath Rome and Byzantine Icons were also found in Cyprus, Crete, Ephesus, Cappadocia and Antioch. Roman frescoes were done by the artist painting the artwork on the still damp plaster of the wall, so that the painting is part of the wall, actually colored plaster. The late Medieval period and the Renaissance saw the most prominent use of fresco, particularly in Italy, where most churches and many government buildings still feature fresco decoration.
Here is one sample of a custom fresco we created for one of our customers in the USA. It was made on a cast stone panel and painted with aging technique to reproduce the old look. The original is from an Etruscan tomb from the 6th Century BC.
original Etruscan fresco
Ancient Sculpture Gallery reproduction
We can custom paint any fresco for you – you can chose an ancient Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek, Hellenistic, Roman or Renaissance fresco to be painted on your walls or ceilings. Or we can paint it on a panel and send it to you to be hanged on your wall. Let us know what size you would be interested in and will be happy to present you with a custom quote.