Fresco

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"Nature paints not; In oils, but frescoes the great dome of heaven; With sunsets, and the lovely forms of clouds; And flying vapors."

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Fresco, fresco painting, is a wall-mural painting technique executed upon water-based pigments. Water is used as a vehicle to allow the pigment to merge with the plaster and become an integral part of the wall with the setting of the plaster. Fresco painting has a monumental style, is durable and has a matte surface. For these characteristics it may be the ideal technique for making murals and other artistic paintings.

The word fresco is derived from the Italian adjective "fresco" with the meaning of "fresh" to indicate the water-based pigments of the technique. Fresco painting has been employed since antiquity and is closely associated with Italian Renaissance artworks, such as Michelangelo's artworks in the Sistine Chapel.