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Top Five Italian Art Cities

A view of the Arno River, Florence. Photo: Visual Hunt If you’ve received our June Smart Art box, we assume you’re an expert in creating frescoes by now! And since so many fresco masterpieces are found in Italy, which we owe in part to the country’s dry climate (ideal for fresco production), you’ll notice that our blog is a bit Italy obsessed this month (if you haven’t read our previous posts, what are you waiting for?)! So we bring you now… fun facts about the art in five of Italy’s most wonderful cities: Florence, Rome, Milan, Venice and Pisa! The city of Florence is home to many artistic wonders, including the Duomo (cathedral)! Photo: Visual Hunt Florence Renaissance Florence –...

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Artist Spotlight: Keith Haring

Keith Haring’s Crack is Wack mural, NYC. Photo: Visual Hunt Although he produced work for just a short time before his premature death a few months shy of his 32nd birthday, artist Keith Haring’s influence is all around us today. Perhaps your morning commute passes by his Crack is Wack mural (1986) on New York’s FDR Drive, or you’ve seen any other of his public artworks that still survive? If not, you’ve surely seen his work without knowing it, as it’s channeled every day by young street artists and other creative thinkers worldwide. And the legacy he’s left extends beyond the art sphere – Haring did much to improve AIDS awareness and funding when the disease was at its most...

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A Short History of the Fresco Part Two

Read our last Post! Part One If you received your June Smart Art Box, you are well on your way to mastering the art of the fresco! Read our last post to discover what a fresco actually is, and to learn about its history in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome! Now to continue where we left off…Frescoes in the Ajanta Caves, India. Photo: Visual Hunt Let’s journey to ancient India to see what fresco masterpieces we can find… If you are lucky enough to find yourself in the beautiful Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India, you must visit the Ajanta Caves! There you’ll find rock cave temples that contain rare and stunning examples of ancient Indian art made between 200 BCE...

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5 Must-See Frescos

If you’ve received your June art box, you might be in a fresco state of mind. To inspire your next project let’s look at some of the world’s most famous frescos. The majority that we’ve selected come from Italy, which we owe in part to the country’s dry climate, ideal for fresco production. And although we think that Italian food is already enough of a draw to warrant a trip, here are some frescoes we recommend seeing in between meals! What is a fresco? The fact that Italy was a key center of fresco production is obvious given the terminology surrounding this painting technique. A fresco is a mural painting process in which painting becomes an integral part of the...

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A Short History of the Fresco Part One

What is a fresco? You may have heard the word in your college Art History class or by your tour guide in Florence, Italy. But do you actually know the definition and history of this ancient art technique? A fresco is a mural painting process in which painting becomes an integral part of the wall (or surface). Now here’s where your high school Italian 101 course will come in handy. The technique most frequently associated to fresco painting is “buon” or “true fresco,” which applies pigments mixed with water to a layer of wet, fresh lime mortar or plaster. But there are two other variants, “secco fresco,” which is painted onto dry plaster thus requiring a binding medium such as...

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