The Frescos of St. Paul's
The Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle
What happened to me on my journey was this: then I was nearing Damascus, about midday, a great light suddenly flashed from the sky all around me.
I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying: "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" I answered, "Tell me, Lord, who you are." "I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting," he said. My companions saw the light, but did not hear the voice that spoke to me.
"What shall I do, Lord?" I asked, and he replied, "Get up, and go on to Damascus; there you will be told all that you are appointed to do."
As I had been blinded by the brilliance of that light, my companions led me by hand, and so I came to Damascus.
Paul in Prison
Philippians 1: 3-8
I thank my God every time I think of you; whenever I pray for you at all, my prayers are always joyful, because of the part you have taken in the work of the gospel from the first day until now.
Of this I am confident, that he who started the good work in you will bring it to completion by the day of Christ Jesus.
It is only natural that I should feel like this about you all, because I have great affection for you.
Knowing that, both while I am kept in prison and when I am called on to defend the truth of the gospel, you all share in this priviledge of mine.
God knows how I long for you all with the deep yearning of Christ Jesus himself.
The Art of Fresco Painting
Fresco- From the Italian word for "fresh"-refers to the process of painting on plaster and the resulting product.
The fresco process is a long and tedious one involving the application of three layers. First, a base coat of plaster-lime mixed with sand and water-is applied to the wall.
On a second, finer coat of plaster - the arriccio - a red outline called the sinopia is transferred from the studio drawings.
The final layer is the
- one part lime and one part sand - to which hand-ground pigments suspended in water are applied.
The artist must apply the pigments before the plaster dries, thus sections of the fresco must be painted in sections called giornata , Italian for "the work that can be done in a day."
Sometimes the lines between the sections, called "day marks," are visible. As the plaster dries, a chemical reaction takes place and crystals of calcium carbonate form, locking the molecules of pigment in place. The lime in the plaster provides each fresco with a built-in source of illumination, lending a subtle glow to the work of art.
This technique found new life during the Italian Renaissance, when some of the most famous works were created, including Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper in Milan and Michelangelo's ceilng in the Sistine Chapel.
The Artist Ben Long
Ben Long grew up in Statesville, NC, and studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Art Students' League in New York.
He later lived in Florence, Italy, where he studied with master artist Peitro Annigoni and learned the art of painting frescoes. His many works, created in churches and public buildings throughout the world, have garnered immense praise and recognition.