Saturday, 25 May 2013

Architectural paintwork

Opportunities to paint spaces in the classical manner, and I mean really provide a comprehensive and articulated solution for rooms and facades is becoming harder to come by. To go a little way to describe the wealth of information that is still commonly available in Italy I thought to begin collecting a selection of pictures as and when possible. Here's my first. 
This is one of the best know church's of the Piemonte region where I live; The sanctuary of Monte Regalis di Vicoforte. (More info on:

A colleague,  who worked alongside Aurelio Cattò for 25 years said that Cattó would steal into this sanctuary when he was "short on idea's" for his own jobs! The church is monumental, the elliptical dome is the biggest in Europe.
The decorations are certainly thick. My attention here is specifically placed on the excellent example of how primarily here paintwork serves to articulate wall space. 
It is difficult to imagine what this building would have looked like without the decorations, without the molding, the panelling, ornaments and such. 
The paintwork is married to the architecture. "Embossed" perhaps describes even better the aim to suggest (with paint) what may have been done to some degree  in architecture. This rationality is then momentarily left aside in the cupola which expands into Trompe l'oeil illusion. However, it is all held together ( most importantly) by the artists very realistic sense of what was physically already there and simply made clearer through their knowledge of classical architecture.