Definition of fresco
1 : the art of painting on freshly spread moist lime plaster with water-based pigments
2 : a painting executed in fresco
Did You Know?
The Italian word fresco means “fresh” and comes from a Germanic word akin to the source of English fresh. In the Renaissance, pittura a fresco, meaning “painting freshly,” referred to paint applied while the plaster on the wall was still wet, as opposed to pittura a secco “painting dryly,” in which paint is applied when the plaster was dry. In English, fresco appears earliest as part of the phrase in fresco; it does not appear as a noun referring to a painting until 1670. A different sense of Italian fresco, meaning “fresh air,” appears in the phrase al fresco “outdoors,” borrowed into English as alfresco and used particularly in reference to dining outdoors.
Origin and Etymology of fresco
Italian, from fresco fresh, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German frisc fresh
First Known Use: 1598
FRESCO Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of fresco for English Language Learners
: the art of painting on wet plaster
: a painting that is done on wet plaster
Seen and Heard
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