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in a broad sense, any flat, arched, or domelike ceiling covered with decorative paintings or sculptures. The ornament sometimes is narrative. Plafond paintings may be executed directly on plaster with oil, glue, or synthetic paints or on canvas stretched over the ceiling. Mosaics are often used to decorate plafonds.
The plafond was very popular from the 17th through the early 19th century for decorating churches and the formal halls of palaces. It was often used to create an illusory opening to the sky or an architectural space beyond the ceiling. Figures and architectural details were represented in a highly foreshortened manner.