The frescoes in Istria
The frescoes in the churches of Istrian inland are another specificity of this region. There are many places in Istria where frescoes can be found - from large and luxurious to individual scenes and tiny fragments.
First frescoes in Istria were painted at the transition from the 8th to the 9th century, while the golden age of religious painting began in the 11th and lasted until the 16th century.
During Middle Ages frescoes did not represent only decorations, but also inscriptions for the majority of the illiterate population. Frescoes played an important role in this sense. Locals respected and adored images of the Virgin Mary, Jesus, saints and patrons and prayed in front of them. The frescoes, with their bright colors, lured views and warned local population not to be sinful. Otherwise they could experience scenes from the pictures, such as the Last Judgement and similar. These reminders were painted at the exits of the churches.
First (significant) frescoes were brought to Istria by the Benedictines in the 11th century. The Benedictines were often the authors of paintings with Romanesque and Byzantine elements.
Master-painters would first put thick and rough plaster in the interior of the church, then sift the lime and mix it with fine sand to make the first rough layer. The second layer was not coated at once. They would only coat the part that was set to be done the same day.
Unfortunately, most of the artists' names haven't been recorded.
If you would like to discover the beauty of the frescoes, you should visit: Bačva (Churches of St. Mother of God of Carmel and St. Jacob), Bale (Church of Holy Spirit), Barban (Churches of St.Anthony And St. Jacob), Batvači (Peroj) - Church of St. Foška, Beram (Churches of St. Martin and St. Mary of Škriljinah), Bičići (Church of St. Martin), Božje polje (Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary), Čirkoti (Churches of St. Primo and St. Felician), Draguć (Churches of St. Elisey and sv. Rok), Dvigrad (Churches of St. Mary of Lakuć and St. Anthony), Fažana (Churches of St. Mary of Carmel and St.Kuzma and Damian), Gologorica (Church of St. Mary of the Pond), Gračišće (Church of St. Mary at the Square), Gradinje (Church of All Saints), Hum (Church of St. Jerome), Kanfanar (Church of St. Agata), Kloštar (Church of St. Michael), Labinci (Church of the Holy Trinity), Lindar (Churches of St. Catherine and St. Sebastian), Nova Vas (Church of Holy Spirit), Medulin (Church of St. Lady of Health), Oprtalj (Churches of St. Jelena, St. Mary, St. Rok, St. Silvestre), Paz (Church of St. Vitus), Pazin (Church of St. Nicholas), Pićan (Church of St. Mihovil), Plomin (Churches of St. Mary and St. George the senior), Pomer (Church of St. Flora), Rakotule (Church of St. Nicholas), Roč (Church of St. Roč), Rovinj (Church of St. Andrew), Slum (Church of St. Matthew), Svetvinčenat (Savičenta) – Churches of St. Vincent and Church of St. Catherine, Sv. Lovreč (Churches of St. Martin and St. Blasius), Višnjan (Church of St. Antona), Vižinada (Church of St. Barnab), Žminj (Churches of St. Anthony and St. Trinity).
Various specific influences intertwine in the specific region that is Istria. Mostly, influences of Rome, northern Italy, Ottonian Empire, Aquileia and Venice.