Plaster in the Middle Ages – The Palazzo Vecchio

Posted: December 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

During the Middle Ages plastering existed only as a craft, and its highest function was to prepare a surface to be painted on. Sometimes it was used as an external protection from the weather, but rarely was it employed for direct adornment. Sometimes small ornaments were carved in plaster of Paris, but it played no important part in decorative art, excepting, perhaps, as gesso, though this belonged rather to the painter than the plasterer; nor was it until the commencement of the Renaissance in Italy that it showed any  symptoms of revival.

One of the most interesting example of external work from that time period, as demonstrating the perfect composition of the material and its great durability, is shown in the present state of the pillars of the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio, now the town hall of Florence.

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