Station: [8] Painted Plaster Fragments

Among the features brought to light by the excavations in the 1970s were several layers of overlapping foundations.

The finds from the dig also included three boxes of coloured pieces of plaster from the polychrome painted walls of the successive church buildings. The individual fragments are so tiny that they can’t be accurately dated in terms of the history of art. However, experts can still draw conclusions about the architectural history and the working methods used.

The most striking pieces were cast into two plaster panels after they’d been recovered. On those fragments, and on some others that weren’t embedded in the panels, you can make out fine lines in a shade of red ochre. These are preliminary sketches carried out with a brush. They represent design drawings and provide guidelines for the subsequent painted decoration. Other fragments display fine incisions that were apparently scored into the wet plaster using a ruler.

Probably the most recent fragments – in the bottom section of the display case – are from the early modern era. They were part of the church’s interior decoration during the Baroque period. You can clearly see the remains of lettering. Even gold leaf has survived on other pieces from the same period: all part and parcel of a typical Baroque interior!

All depictions: © Historischer Verein Schuttern 603 e.V. / Gemeinde Friesenheim