Period IV

Scuol graffiti. Photo/foto: TES.

Graffiti from Engadine

Especially in Engadine, but also in other places in Switzerland, houses are often decorated with geometric motifs, drawings, animals or sayings. This technique was introduced by Italian artists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries after the Bündner expansion in the Italian territories. These artists wanted to earn money, and the fresco technique was well known in Italy. It turned out to be a successful export product. The technology itself is universal and can also be found in Africa and other parts of Europe, for example, Bohemia and on the island of Chios in the Aegean Sea.

The name graffiti comes from Engadin, ils sgrafito in Romansh. It is a simple fresco technique based on white paint on the mortar. As long as the colour has not dried up, motifs can be applied, and the colour difference between white-grey makes the motifs visible. Graffiti has become a real art in Engadine and even experienced a renaissance in the 70s and 80s of the last century. Perhaps the high artistic value of graffiti is the reason why graffiti is rarely applied to unwanted places with spray paint. (Source: A. Overath, Gebrauchsanweisung für das Engadin, München, Berlin, 2017).