Decorative technique that consists in assembling small cubes of stone, marble or glass,
called « tessels », to create an image. Mosaïc can cover walls or ground as well.
Basilica St Marc, inside Genesis dome
The name of the technique comes from the Italian expression « dipingere a fresco »
which means « to paint on a fresh coat ». Fresco is a wall-painting technique on a fresh
coat, made of lime and sand. The colors are pigments mixed with water.
Several distinct coats form the frescos :
• The first coat is a roughcast put against the wall.
This mortar is a mix of lime and thick sand.
• The second coat is made of lime and thin sand.
• The third coat receive the painting, made of
pigments and water, applied with a brush in several
• the last coat, the calcin, results of carbonatation
of the lime mortar. When it dries, it creates a
protective transparent coat around the pigments,
fixing them definitely.
It’s a painting that uses a mix of pigment and oil to obtain a paste of different
consistency. Usually painters use linen oil.
An oil painting is made of several coats that can be very thin and transparent or thick.
The varnish, covering the surface after painting, protects and fixes the pigments.
The support can be a canvas stretched on a chassis or a copper or wood plate.
Francesco Bassano, The pope Alexandre III gives the victory
Antonello da Messina, dead Christ, 1475 - sword to the doge S. Ziani, 1577 - 1585, 575 x 575 cm.
1476, oil on wood, 117 x 68 cm.
Architecture vocabulary :
Arcade- A row of arches or columns that
create a covered walkway.
Balcony- A small porch that sticks off a
building above ground level.
Column- A vertical piece of structure ( parts
of the building that supports weight, a
Cornice- The moulding that projects out from
the top of a building.
Dome- A rounded roof, with a circular base,
shaped like an arch in all directions.
Facade- The outside “ face” of the building.
Pediment - Top of a facade, window or arch.
Roof- The top of a building which protects the
inside from the weather.
Window- An opening in a wall that lets in light
Book « l’image au collège »
Oil on wood p. 93
Oil on canvas p. 97
Fresco p. 99