What is the Difference between a Mural and a Fresco?

What is the Difference between a Mural and a Fresco? 2017-03-03T21:06:42+00:00

What is the Difference between a Mural and a Fresco?

At Regaliana, Fresco Art is one of our three main specialisms (the other two being mirrors and mirrored wall art and hand crafted caricatures), but we are often asked what the difference is between a mural and a fresco, so here’s the answer.

What is a Mural?

A mural is any piece of artwork that is painted or applied directly on a wall, the word deriving from the Latin Muralis, with a muralist being an artist who specialises in mural painting. More broadly, mural art also appears on ceilings or any other large permanent surface. Mural paintings usually have the distinguishing characteristic of having the architectural elements of the space they are painted on being harmoniously incorporated into the picture.

There are many techniques used for mural painting, of which the Fresco is just one. A mural, therefore is a general term for a wall painting, whilst a Fresco is a specific term.

What is a Fresco?

A fresco, is one of the techniques of mural painting and probably the most popular. The word Fresco is derived from the Italian word “affresco” (meaning “fresh”) and there are two traditional fresco painting techniques – “Buon Fresco” and “Fresco Secco”.

In “Buon Fresco” dry colour pigments are mixed with water and painted onto fresh, wet plaster. The pigments soak into the plaster mix and as the paint and plaster dries a hard, transparent, crystallised bond forms which permanently fuses them together, which gives the distinctive fresco painting look. All our Catalogue Frescos are produced using the Buon Fresco technique. For further details see “The Fresco Process” (below).

The other fresco mural painting technique is “Fresco Secco”, where pigments are mixed with glue, casein, or polymer emulsions and are painted onto a dry plaster wall that has been wetted with limewater. All fresco Commissions painted “on-site” at Client premises are produced using this technique. It can also be used for the retouching/repair of Buon Frescos after they have completely dried.

Our On-line catalogues for Frescos

Our online catalogues for Fresco art and paintings (as well as mirrors, wall art and model caricatures) feature an extensive choice of “made-to-order” designs, in a range of sizes and prices. We also offer a bespoke service across all products, ranging from the slightest modification of an existing catalogue design, through to bringing individual Client ideas to life via fully customized design commissions of any scale. 

Whether from the Private or the Commercial Sector our objective is to fulfil the exact requirements of our Clients, therefore, if you are unable to find exactly what you are looking for or require further information please contact us.