Fresco (Italian for "fresh"), method, or art, of painting with watercolors on plaster, while the plaster is still wet, or fresh. The term is also applied to the painting executed in this manner.In the Renaissance this process was termed true fresco or buon fresco to differentiate it from fresco secco, the process of painting on dry plaster. The term fresco is also sometimes used, improperly, for tempera painting, or distemper, in which watercolor is mixed with egg or other glutinous substances and applied directly on masonry.
Pigment is applied to the top layer of several layers of plaster for a buon fresco. The painter usually applies to the next-to-last plaster surface a sketch, or cartoon are then reinforced with dark watercolor. Plaster is laid over the drowing in small sections, and color is applied to the wet plaster, often aided by another sketch of the color scheme. As the plaster dries, the lime in the plaster reacts chemically with the carbon dioxide in the air to form calcium carbonate;this compound forms a film over the colors, which binds them to the plaster. This makes them part of its actual surface and also gives the colors an unusual clarity. The colors of a fresco are usually thin, transparent and light, oftenwith a chalky look. In the Renaissance, methods were found to give the colors somewhat more opacity.
In buon fresco, the painying must be done quickly and confined to assentials. The artist must know precisely how much water color the plaster will absorb. Too much paint causes the surface to become "rotten". Cutting away the defective portion, laying on fresh plaster, and repainting is then necessary.
In fresco secco, the dry plaster is rubbed with pumice stone to remove the crust, then washed with a thin mixture of water and lime. The colors are applied on this surface. The affect of fresco secco is inferior to true fresco; the colors are not as clear and the painting is less turable.
The island was inhabited at around 3200 B.C. when Cretes showed up.
The influence of the Minoan culture on the island was obvious when excavations started on Akrotiri and found a whole village with houses decorated with wallpaintings similar to those found in the Minoan palace in Crete.
The Minoan city at Akrotiri was first inhabited at 3.000 B.C. and the ruins of the volcanic explosion were discovered in the excavations that begun in 1967 by Prof. Marinatos.
Two and three storeys buildings with lots of tools and cutlery are kept along with information on the people's habits in the archaeological museum of Athens.