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  • In this activity, students will prepare a tile of lime plaster and then paint it in the fresco style. The chemistry that lies behind this technique will then be explored.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • describe how lime is made from limestone
    • define the term 'slaked lime'
    • prepare a lime mortar by mixing slaked lime with sand
    • better understand the chemistry behind the drying and hardening of the lime mortar
    • describe how frescos are made.
    Rights: Jorge Valenzuela A, CC3.0 Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

    Sistine Chapel frescos

    Michelangelo used the fresco painting technique to decorate the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This technique involves applying paint pigments to damp lime mortar.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • student handout.

    Related content

    Explore some of the big science ideas in Carbonate chemistry and Limestone uses. Find out more about Lime – a time-tested chemical.

    Use our Pinterest board Visual arts and science for further inspiration on ways to include both art and science in your teaching.

      Published 9 October 2012 Referencing Hub articles
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