ARtist and architect David Mayernik studied fresco with renowned restorer Leonetto Tintori in 1989 while on a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. Since then he has painted frescoes for the Academy's Library, churches in Switzerland and Italy, and for his own buildings at TASIS The American School in Switzerland. "What engages me especially about fresco is the way it can make plain walls speak," says Mayernik. "It was an important part of the 'rhetoric' of Renaissance buildings, allowing them to tell stories in the language of allegory and myth."
Mayernik's frescoes develop an intimate relationship with their setting, both visually and symbolically. His knowledge of classical references, coupled with a poetic and occcasionally humorous sensibility, means his works can be understood at several levels, from their immediate aesthetic appeal to a deeper symbolic intention. Visit davidmayernik.com for more on Mayernik's work in fresco, oil, watercolor, drawing, his architectural projects, and his book Timeless Cities: An Architect's Reflections on Renaissance Italy.
LEARNING BY COPYING:
THE ATELIER SYSTEM
Copying was the standard way of learning from a master in the old atelier system, and this is how Leonetto Tintori taught fresco technique. I have done other copies since my time with Tintori,and have also practiced what used to be called emulation, or working in the manner of a master.
The copies I executed while with Tintori were both of my hero Giambattista Tiepolo, and since I have worked after Pontormo and Raphael. Today I mostly do these as demonstrations (Raphael's head of Bramante at the lower right took about two hours to execute).
The Challenge of Emulation in Art and Architecture, David Mayernik's new book
after Tiepolo, from Archbishop's Palace, Udine
after Pontormo, Capponi chapel, Sta. Felicità
after Raphael, Stanza della Segnatura