Art in the heart of the stone.
To be a fresco painter is to master both art and matter.
The fresco (from the Italian "a fresco" which means "in the cool") is a special technique of mural painting which is realized on a fresh coating called "intonaco" before it is dry. Painting on a coating that has not yet dried allows the pigments to penetrate the mass and thus the colors to last longer than a simple surface painting on a substrate.
A complex chemical process, called carbonation, comes into play from the first application of the coating to the support intended to receive the fresco and will harden until it becomes again the exact same limestone that it was at the origin ! It is for this reason that one can say of the fresco painter that he paints in the stone.
He has very little time to carry out his work (usually a little less than two hours). It is for this reason that the great frescoes are realized slice by slices. It is little to say that fresco is an art that requires a great mastery of both gesture and matter.
Pierre Testud, a restorer and fresco, who trained at the fresco school in Venice for several years, presents here the reproduction of a part of the frescoes of the Notre-Dame des Fontaines chapel in La Brigue, Alpes- Maritimes, a chapel famous for the complexity and profusion of its frescoes, dating from the 15th century and attributed to Giovanni Canavesio and Giovanni Baleison.