Studio: international art — 84.1922

Page: 298
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(Portion of a Lecture given at the Ashmolean
Museum, Oxford, on February 16th, 1922.)

THE Italians, where I encounter them,
in the book of Cennino Cennini *
(which is my bible on these matters), the
Italians of 1400, in speaking of paintings
upon lime-plastered walls, say that the
work may be done either in fresco or in
secco. And I invite you to guess that by
painting in fresco they mean painting on
the plaster while it is fresh, and by
painting in secco they mean painting on
the plaster when it is dry. And I would
further advise you that this distinction
marks the most fundamental difference
between methods of painting that existed

* The Book of the Art of Cennino Cennini. Trans-
lated by Christiana J. Herringham. (G. Allen, 1899)

at that time or that exists at the present
day. 0 a 0 a a 0

In fresco painting, the lime plaster must
be quite fresh, laid that very day. Each
morning a patch of lime plaster is laid with
the trowel sufficient to receive one day's
painting—one day's finished painting, not
to be retouched. If the plaster patch be
larger than necessary, the unpainted por-
tion is cut off in the evening. Next
morning another patch is laid alongside
or below the first, joining up with it as
neatly as may be—and so on. a 0

The colours are applied mixed with
water only—the raw pigments I mean,
such as you may now buy in the lump or
in powder (not what we call " water-
colours," which, of course, are thoroughly
mixed with gum arabic). These pigments
are applied without any medium, without
any tempera, as the Italians called it, to
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