The Art and Industry of Stucco Decoration

Architektur, Kunst, Konferenz, Roma/online

03.02.2022 H10:00-18:30
04.02.2022 H09:30-13:30
Entrance: Via Liguria 20

Architektur, Kunst, Konferenz

03.02.2022 H10:00-18:30
04.02.2022 H09:30-13:30
Entrance: Via Liguria 20

The event will take place at Istituto Svizzero and online. Presentations will be held in Italian, English and French (no translation provided). 
Register to participate on 03.02.2022 here.
Register to participate on 04.02.2022 here.

Register on Zoom here.

The Art and Industry of Stucco Decoration

Stucco decoration has been traditionally studied considering its formal and artistic qualities. Despite much research and numerous publications have explored the works of the stuccatori and their cultural context, there has been little attention on the ‚art and industry‘ of these artists, and on how their practical and technical ‚know-how‘ contributed to the great professional and artistic success that they enjoyed. Many stucco decorations all over Europe have been realized by masters coming from the region between Lombardy and Ticino and their working methods spread all over Europe.

This international conference aims at examining the techniques and the artistic processes with which stucco decoration has been realized in different European countries from the 16th to the 17th Century, by foreign or by local masters. Stucco is very versatile and composite artwork, it can be executed using different materials and production methods according to what is available on site and the ability of the masters to manipulate the mortar. The conference will examine this and other related topics with an interdisciplinary approach, considering art and social history, technical art history, material science as subjects of enquiry.

Some of the key question that will be assessed are: the role of stucco makers in the design of decorative schemes, materials used to create stucco decoration (relationship between their provenance, technical characteristic and working properties), artistic techniques used to create stucco decoration (supporting structures, coarse and fine layers, polishing), organisation of the working site and collaboration with architects, builders, and other artists as sculptors or painters.

Please download the abstracts here.

Organisation committee: Giacinta Jean, Alberto Felici (Istituto materiali e costruzioni, Dipartimento ambiente costruzioni e design, Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana, SUPSI), Letizia Tedeschi (Archivio del Moderno, Accademia di Architettura, Università della Svizzera italiana, USI).

Scientific committee: Giacinta Jean, Alberto Felici, Marta Caroselli (SUPSI-DACD-IMC), Letizia Tedeschi (USI-AAM-Archivio del Moderno), Serena Quagliaroli, Giulia Spoltore (Centro Studi per la storia dello stucco in Età Moderna e Contemporanea), Jana Zapletalová (Palacký University Olomouc).

With the support of Swiss National Science Foundation.

Access is allowed only to those who obtained the Reinforced Green Pass health certificate, which proves vaccination or recovery. It is mandatory to wear a Ffp2 face mask within our spaces.


Thursday, 03.02.2022

H10:00-10:15 – Maria Böhmer (Head of Science, Research and Innovation, Istituto Svizzero), Welcome address

H10:20-10:40 – Giacinta Jean, Alberto Felici (SUPSI – Istituto materiali e costruzioni), The art and industry of the Ticinese stuccatori from the 16th to the 17th century

H10:40-11:00 – Jessica Gritti (Politecnico di Milano – Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani), Notes on the use of stucco in Milan between 15th and 16th centuries

H11:00-11:20 – Online: Laura Stagno (Università degli studi di Genova – DIRAAS), Notes on Palazzo del Principe’s stucco decoration: a focus on the Loggia degli Eroi and the Galleria Aurea

H11:20-11:40 – Discussion
Moderator: Serena Quagliaroli

H11:40-12:00 – Coffee break

H12:00.12:20 – Serena Quagliaroli (Università degli Studi di Torino), Giulia Spoltore (Archivio del Moderno – Università della Svizzera italiana, USI), Domenico Fontana and the Art of Stucco: Roman Worksites

H12:20-12:40 – Online: Francesco Freddolini (Sapienza Università di Roma – Dipartimento di Storia Antropologia Religioni Arte Spettacolo), Pietro da Cortona and Stucco Decoration between Rome and Florence

H12:40-13:00 – Torsten Tjarks (Art historian), Una questione di controllo. L’esecuzione degli stucchi negli edifici del Borromini

H13:00-13:30 – Discussion
Moderator: Alberto Felici

H13:30-14:30 – Lunch break

H14:30-14:50 – Carla Giovannone (Istituto Centrale del Restauro, Roma), Leonardo Retti a Roma: la decorazione in stucco di Santa Marta al Collegio Romano

H14:50-15:10 – Vittoria Brunetti (Art historian), Materials and artistic processes in Late Baroque Rome: from the working site of Santa Cecilia chapel in San Carlo ai Catinari to the restoration of the Sala Regia

H15:10-15:30 – Carlotta Brovadan (Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali, Roma), An overview of stucco decoration in 17th-century L’Aquila

H15:30-15:50 – Online: Valentina Burgassi (Politecnico di Torino – École Pratique des Hautes Études), Mauro Volpiano (Politecnico di Torino – Dipartimento di architettura e design), Plasterers at the Savoyard court: the construction of royal residences in 17th Century Piedmont

H15:50-16:10 – Discussion
Moderator: Giulia Spoltore

H16:10-16:30 – Coffee break

H16:30-16:50 – Online: Nicolas Cordon (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Is there a French Stucco? Gypsum Ornament in Seventeenth Century France: Jacques Sarrazin and the Castle of Maisons

H16:50-17:10 – Wijnand Freling (Dutch Stucco Guild), The rise of interior ornamental Stuccoworks in the Netherlands from the 16th till the 18th century

H17:10-17:30 – Online: Barbara Rinn-Kupka (Art historian), ’50 Shades of Stucco‘ – Techniques and market development lines of stucco-masters in the German countries of the 16th and 17th century

H17:30-17:50 – Pietro Delpero (Art historian), La collaborazione tra gli architetti e gli stuccatori nei cantieri della Germania meridionale (secoli XVII – XVIII)

H17:50-18:20 – Discussion
Moderator: Giacinta Jean

H18:20-20:00 – Apero

Friday, 04.02.2022

H09:30-09:50 – Veronika K. Wanková (Charles University Prague), Renata Tišlová, Peter Majoroš (University of Pardubice), Collection of Renaissance stucco statues at Bučovice Castle

H09:50-10:10 – Online: Martin Krummholz (Palacký University Olomouc), Carlo Lurago: Stucco worker and / versus Architect

H10:10-10:30 – Michał Kurzej (Jagiellonian University – Institute of Art History), Profession of stucco maker in 17th century Lesser Poland

H10:30-10:50 – Online: Beata Klimek (Lublin University of Technology – Department of Historic Building Preservation), Giovanni Battista Falcony’s moulding workshop 1630-1658

H10:50-11:10 – Discussion
Moderator: Jana Zapletalová

H11:10-11:40 – Coffee Break

H11:40-12:00 – Alberto Felici, Marta Caroselli, Giovanni Nicoli, Medea Uccelli (SUPSI – Istituto materiali e costruzioni), Jan Válek (Czech Academy of Sciences – Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics), Jana Zapletalová (Palacký University Olomouc), A preliminary study of techniques and materials in the stucco decorations of Baldassare Fontana in the Gallery of the Angels in the castle of Uherčice (CZ) 

H12:00-12:20 – Online: Marta Bensa (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia – Nova Gorica Regional Office), Katarina Šter (Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute), Gli stucchi nella chiesa di Kostanjevica a Nova Gorica, Slovenia (1639 – 1691)

H12:20-12:40 – Gaetano Giannotta (Universitat Jaume I, Castellón de la Plana), José Luis Regidor Ros (Universitat Politècnica de València – Department of Conservation and Restoration), Gli stucchi della chiesa de los Santos Juanes di Valencia, Spagna (1693-1702). 

H12:40-13:00 – Mickaël Zito (Musée des beaux-arts et d’archéologie de Besançon), Sabbia, gesso e calce: gli stucchi dei Marca della Valsesia

H13:00-13:20 – Discussion and conclusion

H13:30-14:30 – Lunch Break

H15:00 – Visit (to be confirmed according to the COVID restrictions)