Post-War Monumental Art: Technique and Experiment

Art fallen into oblivion
The post-war period (1945-1965) was a major revival for monumental arts in The Netherlands. Yet after 1965 it lost its popularity and ended in oblivion. As with medieval art we know little about the artists and the way they worked.

Monumental Art Project (Monumentale Project)
This is an abstract by Rutger Morelissen and Simone Vermaat of their presentation during the Joint Meeting in october 2012 on the Monumental Art project. This project aims to revive the interest for this art, to help save the important artworks from demolision and to stimulate and improve its conservation.
Various techniques
Charactaristic for the monumental arts of this period is it’s variation in techniques. Both classical techniques (fresco, secco, *, mosaic) were revived and new techniques (glass appliqué, concrete relief, glass in metal etc.) were introduced or invented. Also traditonal and modern materials were used. Various sources were used: publications by the artists in books and magazines from the period, artists handbooks from the period (both from the Netherlands and abroad) and artists documentation. Also conservators provided information for the project.
Examples of wall painting techniques:


  • Fresco (rare)
  • casein-tempera
  • Mineral paint (silicate, Keim)
  • Oil paint
  • Acrylic paint

Example of Sgraffito technique:
The sgraffito probably originated in Italy during the middle ages (although it had precursors in classical period). Multi-layered pigmented lime mortar in various colours (usually 3 or 4 layers). The layers are thicker than traditional sgraffito’s. Sgraffito’s were made for indoor and outdoor-situations. Some outdoor sgraffito’s are in bad condition and show different problems: loss of colour, loss of detail, cracks, biological growth. Other outdoor sgraffito’s however are in fine condition.


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