cm 27,5 x 32,5
about 300 in colour
Hardback with laminated dust jacket
This is the first-ever book to present a comprehensive history of stucco in Europe. Stucco is considered an applied art, and as such it has not received the kind of attention lavished on painting, sculpture and architecture. Yet stucco, which dates back to the Egyptian era, has an intriguing past in various periods of art history. Stucco blossomed in the classical era and then came to the forefront again from the Renaissance to the 19th century. Stucco has incorrectly been seen as a simple, white, monochromatic and slightly boring art form, but a closer look shows that stucco has enjoyed long periods of colorful expression. Just think of the famous and colorful “Geese of Meidum” (2620 B.C., National Museum of Cairo), or the decorations of the Tomb of the Pancrazi from the Roman era. In the Middle Ages, stucco fell out of favor, but when the Domus Aurea was discovered in Rome in the 1500s, stucco became a Renaissance favorite, and it took center stage in Raphael’s rooms (1518) in the Vatican. Stucco went on to be used decoratively in the Villa Madama in Rome, the Palazzo Te in Mantua and Fontainebleau Castle in France. Stucco was popular all over Europe during the Baroque period, and it took even more graceful and colorful form during the Rococo period. Robert Adam employed stucco in his neoclassical English villas, and in the 1800s it was widely used in the eclectic style. In other words, stucco has almost always played a role, though often in intersection with other techniques. Stucco has been used on walls and ceilings, and its colors offer luminosity and a play of light and shadow in a kaleidoscope of shapes and sweeping energy that both urges innovation and indicates the intelligence of a culture able to grasp its incredible potential.
Author: Alessandra Zamperini
Photos: Luca Sassi