Stucco marble

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stucco marble in the Vierzehnheiligen basilica near Bad Staffelstein
Stucco lustro (left) in the assembly room of the House of Representatives of the Parliament building in Vienna from the 19th century. The column next to it is made of real marble.
Stucco marble in the Palais Archduke Wilhelms, Vienna

Stucco marble is an imitation of real marble and is made by a plasterer . This technique is hardly used in modern stucco craft . At first glance, the technique of stucco lustro also seems comparable , in which several layers of colored fine plaster are applied. The technique of stucco marble is also used for inlaying . This technique is called Scagliola .


The use of stucco marble goes back to the Roman era. During excavations in Pompeii, stucco marble was found on the walls of wealthy houses and public buildings. The use of stucco marble experienced its renaissance in Italy from the 17th century. From there it migrated north, where it was used heavily again, especially from the baroque era. Churches and palaces were decorated with stucco marble as it was an inexpensive alternative to real marble. The stucco marble in the ballroom of the Palais in the Great Garden in Dresden is one of the earliest examples in Central Germany. The method continued to be used until the late 19th century. Stucco marble was used in many of the Ringstrasse palaces in Vienna as well as in other public buildings such as the Reichsratsgebäude, the university, etc. Outside of Europe as well as in America, public buildings or houses of the wealthy were decorated with stucco marble. The increasing industrial mining of marble and the growing export business from Italy and India as well as the discovery of further marble quarries, however, caused the prices for marble to fall sharply and the art of stucco marble has almost been lost since the 20th century. Today, the production and restoration of stucco marble is far more costly than using real marble.

Stucco lustro

Stucco lustro is the Aufmalung of marbling on a solid-colored, single-colored mortar base in smoothing technique . It is a pure lime plastering technique , in which several layers of marble sand / marble powder and sump lime “wet-on-wet” ( fresco ) are plastered on a good base plaster made of lime and sand . Thereby the work is becoming finer and finer towards the top. The basic tone of the marble is added to the last layer, then the marbling is painted into the damp plaster. Finally, the finished surface is coated with Venetian soap (which in principle creates Tadelakt ) and smoothed / stuccoed with a bare, hot smoothing trowel.

Stucco lustro is not to be confused with the plaster-bound artificial marble (Scagliola). Stucco lustro is relatively inexpensive and is characterized by its high gloss, but is a superficial imitation, while Scagliola is a full-volume replica.


Scagliola table in the choir stalls of St. Lorenz in Kempten
Scagliola in the Munich Residence

The technique of Scagliola (plaster inlay) is more complex. To produce anhydrite , glue water (glutin glue, e.g. bone glue or pearl glue ) is added, colored with pigments and kneaded. Kneading can take a long time, as anhydrite sets slowly and the bone glue also delays setting. The colored masses are kneaded together like marble, twisted and pressed into so-called marble bread or marble cake , which is cut into slices about one centimeter thick and applied to the base (usually masonry). When the anhydrite has hardened to plaster of paris, it is roughly sanded, flaws are filled out and the surface is sanded with increasingly finer whetstones . This is followed by another elutriation with a little thin gypsum with glue water. After re-precision grinding is provided with a polishing stone (z. B. agate or hematite mechanical compacting using low pressure) polished .

Stucco marble already existed in late antiquity , but its heyday falls in the baroque era . The production of stucco marble could be more expensive than real marble. Nevertheless, some builders preferred stucco marble for their projects, as it can be used to create plays of colors and patterns that natural marble does not offer (e.g. blue marble with yellow ocher veins). In addition, marble parts of any size can be produced.

In Europe, the oldest Scagliola plates from around 1600 have survived. Munich developed into a center of this handicraft. Many objects adorn the Munich residence and there in particular the Reiche Kapelle, whose paneling (around 1632) was made by Blasius and his son Wilhelm Pfeiffer (or Mr. Fistulator ). Duke Maximilian I claimed the princely privilege over the Scagliola technique. The marbleists and plasterers were not allowed to pass on their knowledge without permission. At the end of the 17th century, stucco marble went out of fashion.

Scagliola objects are often confused with works of art in pietra dura . In the 21st century there are still a few restoration companies that can manufacture and repair stucco marble. In addition to the complex production process, stucco marble has some other disadvantages. It is not as hard as real marble (so it is not suitable, for example, for heavily used stair coverings) and is not weatherproof, since glue and plaster are water-soluble.

More resistant synthetic marble masses can be produced on the basis of white cement ( terrazzo or synthetic resin with marble powder as filler).


In the GDR , on the occasion of the reconstruction of the Semperoper in Dresden - it was reopened in 1985 - a single craftsman trained several workers in the two artificial marble techniques. The maintenance of sacred buildings was not very pronounced in the GDR, the knowledge about Scagliola and Stucco lustro had therefore almost been lost and has now been revived. Such a loss of knowledge had never occurred elsewhere, for example in the northern Alpine region.


  • Geoffrey Beard: Stuck. The development of plastic decoration. Edition Atlantis, Zurich 1988, ISBN 3-7611-0723-4 .
  • Stucco-plaster-drywall specialist group in the Bau Berlin und Brandenburg e. V .: Stucco marble and stucco lustro. New building in traditional techniques. Knaak Verlag, Berlin 2001.
  • Siegfried Leixner and Adolf Raddatz: The plasterer. Handbook for the trade. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt / Julius Hoffmann Verlag, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-421-03096-0 .
  • Katharina Medici Mall: Lorenz Schmid. A Wessobrunn altar builder and plasterer. Series: Bodensee-Bibliothek Volume 21, Jan Thorbecke Verlag, Sigmaringen 1975, ISBN 3-7995-5021-6 .
  • Peter Vierl: Plaster and Stucco: Manufacture, Restore . Verlag Georg D. W. Callwey, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-7667-0873-2 .

Web links

Commons : Scagliola  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Architecture and history of the parliament building: Members' consulting room website of the Austrian Parliament.
  2. Robert Scherer: The artificial floor, wall coverings and ceiling coverings. Reprint-Verlag-Leipzig, 2002, ISBN 978-3-8262-1921-4 , p. 133 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  3. Wolfgang Petz, Josef Kirmeier, Wolfgang Jahn and Evamaria Brockhoff (eds.): "Citizen diligence and prince-luster." Imperial city and prince abbey of Kempten. House of Bavarian History , Augsburg 1998, ISBN 3-927233-60-9 , p. 284.