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S is for Stucco

Published on , by Marielle Brie de Lagerac

Contrary to popular belief, stucco was not made of powdered marble, but of a plaster- or lime-based paste whose formula was specific to each workshop.

Raymond Delamarre (1890-1986), Mowgli, The Jungle Book, plaster bas-relief, 181 x... S is for Stucco

Raymond Delamarre (1890-1986), Mowgli, The Jungle Book, plaster bas-relief, 181 x 203 cm/36.2 x 79.9 in. Hôtel Drouot, December 20, 2022. Kohn Marc-Arthur auction house.
Sold for: €188,500

Regardless of the ingredients, plaster or lime, form took precedence over matter. Starting in antiquity , the composition of stucco would vary from one decor to another, always adapting to the raw materials available. Its technical and plastic versatility made it popular with the Greeks and Romans, whose craftsmen honed their skills. Because it was inexpensive, stucco, whose whiteness was another of its qualities, was an ideal substitute for marble and stone. Molded or modeled, it could reproduce the forms of architecture and reproduce its motifs. It adorned the vaults and walls of opulent villas, playing on the contrast with colorful frescoes. Nevertheless, plastering was a craft rather than an art, although a painter sometimes intervened to provide color. Provence has considerable gypsum deposits, and began using this naturally pinkish, bluish or gray material in the 15th century, leaving it natural or painting it as the patron wished. Stucco’s easy handling…
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