Decorative Painting

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Painting, Decorative


a representational or nonrepresentational painting on an architectural element or an article of applied art.

Decorative painting is important in architecture, where it is used to embellish both the exterior and interior of a building. The composition may correspond to the architectural structure of the building, accentuating various elements of design, or—on the contrary—may tend to hide the architectonics (for example, a tapestry-like painting covers all the architectural elements evenly). The painting is applied directly to a wall, arch, or some other part of the building, or it is executed on a canvas that is later attached to the wall or ceiling. The most commonly used mediums are fresco, tempera, glue paints, and—to a lesser extent—oil paints. Since the late 19th century silicate paints have been popular. Grisaille was especially popular in classicist decorative painting of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Another type of decorative painting is the embellishment of textiles and various household articles made from clay, wood, metal, and glass. In folk art decorative painting is often an independent branch of art or local crafts. Decorative painters often develop their own means of artistic expression in an attempt to imitate other, usually more costly, materials and other, usually more labor-intensive, techniques. The artists bring out or disguise the plastic properties of the material and often emphasize the function of the object, specifying its relationship with the interior or material environment as a whole.


Bakushinskii, A. V. Rospis’ po derevu, bereste i pap’e-mashe. Moscow, 1933.
Alekseev, S. S. Dekorativnaia zhivopis’. Moscow, 1949.
Russkoe dekorativnoe iskusstvo, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1962–65.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Franklin's universal genius, dabbling in everything, dabbled in what he called "decorative painting." He had invented, he informed us, a new mixture to moisten paint with, which he described as a "vehicle." What it was made of, I don't know.
Today, decorative painting styles include glazes and patinas.
The decorative paints portfolio includes brands such as Contex anti-carbonation coating systems, Casa acrylic finishes for the exterior of palaces, homes or villas, Topaz finishes and textures for interior and exterior surfaces, Fusions, an easy-to-use range to create decorative painting effects, and Maestro for professional applicators and the projects market.
4 July 2011 - Danish paint and wallpaper maker Flugger A/S (CPH: FLUG B) said today it had acquired the decorative painting segment of Norwegian player Steen-Hansen Maling AS for an undisclosed amount.
Marina, 39, who runs her own specialist decoration service in London, will spend more than three months with one of France's leading experts in decorative painting and trompe-l'oeil.
Sharon Ross & Else Kinkead's Decorative Painting & Faux Finishes (1580111793, $19.95) could have been featured in our 'homeowner's helpers' section but deserves mention here for its special attraction to crafters who enjoy working with paint.
Lazure Decorative Painting Workshop for Beginners Learn to fill your home with color!
A handy reference for those interested in tole and decorative painting.
He showed natural talent for decorative painting and, even without academic training, became very successful.
Faux and Decorative Painting is a no-nonsense guide to beautifully coloring one's walls with water-based painting and glazing.
Louise Hamel of Louise Hamel Designs notes that there seems to be bit of confusion among the genera public, designers, and even some artist about "decorative painting," the genera term for all types of painted finishes on walls, floors, ceilings and furniture.