mural  is a piece of artwork painted or applied directly to a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A distinctive feature of the mural is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.

Some murals are painted on large canvases, which are then attached to the wall (eg with marouflage). If these jobs can be accurately called “murals” is the subject of some controversy in the art world  [ who? ]  , But the technology has been in general use since the late 19th century.  [1]  


Jataka stories frånAjantagrottorna, 7th Century

Murals of sorts date to the Upper Paleolithic times that the paintings in the Chauvet Cave in the Ardèche department of southern France (around 30,000 BC). Many old wall paintings have survived in Egyptian tombs (about 3150 BC),  [2]  the Minoan palaces (Middle period III of Neopalatial period from 1700 to 1600 BC) and Pompeii (about 100 BC – AD 79) .

In medieval times, the wall paintings were mostly done on dry plaster (Secco). The huge collection of Kerala mural dating from the 14th century are examples of fresco secco.  [3] [4]  In Italy, around 1300, the technique for painting frescoes on wet plaster reintroduced and led to a significant increase in the quality of the mural .  [5] 

In modern times, the term became more familiar with Mexican muralism art movement (Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros and José Orozco). There are many different styles and techniques. The most famous is probably  the fresco  , using water-soluble paints with a damp lime wash, a quick use of the resulting mixture over a large area, often in parts (but with a sense of the whole). The colors lighten as they dry. The  marouflage  method has also been used for millennia.

Painting today is painted in a variety of ways, using oil or aqueous media.The styles can vary from abstract to  trompe l’oeil  (a French term for “fool” or “fool the eye”). Initiated by the works of wall artists like Graham Rust and Rainer Maria Latzke in the 1980s, trompe l’oeil painting has experienced a revival in private and public buildings in Europe. Today, the beauty of a mural has become much more available with a technique whereby a painting or photographic image is transferred to poster paper or canvas which is then pasted on a wall surface  (see the wallpaper, Frescography)  to give the effect of either a hand-painted mural or realistic scene.


Historic wall techniques

The 18-century BC fresco of the installation of Zimrilim  discovered vidKungliga castle in Old Navy in Syria

In the history of the mural, several methods have been used:

A fresco  painting from the Italian word  affresco  which derives from the adjective  fresco  ( “fresh”), describes a method in which the color is applied to the plaster on walls or ceilings. The  Buon fresco  technique consists of painting in pigment mixed with water in a thin layer of wet, fresh, lime mortar or plaster. The pigment is then absorbed by the wet plaster; after a number of hours, plaster dries and reacts with the air: it is this chemical reaction which fixes the pigment particles in the plaster. After that the painting stays for a long period of time up to centuries in fresh and bright colors.

Fresco-secco  painting is done on dry plaster (  Secco  is “dry” in Italian). The pigments thus require a binding medium, such as egg (tempera), glue or oil to attach the pigment to the wall.

Mezzo fresco  painted on almost dry plaster, and was defined by the sixteenth-century writer Ignazio Pozzo as “firm enough not to take a thumb-print” so that the pigment penetrates only slightly into the drywall. At the end of the sixteenth century this had largely displaced the  buon fresco  method, and was used by artists who Gianbattista Tiepolo or Michelangelo. This technique had, in reduced form, the advantages of  a secco  work.


In Greco-Roman times, mostly encaustic paints were used in a cold state is used.  [6] [7] 

Tempera painting is one of the oldest known methods of the mural. The tempera pigments are bound in a proteinaceous media such as egg yolk or egg white diluted in water.

In 16th century Europe, oil on canvas emerged as a simpler method for the mural. The advantage was that the artwork would be completed in the artist’s studio and later transported to their destination and attached to the wall or taket.Oljefärg can be a less satisfactory medium of murals because of its lack of brilliance in color. Even pigments yellowed by the binder or easily affected by atmospheric conditions. The canvas itself is more vulnerable to rapid deterioration over a patch of ground.  [ Citation needed ]  Various muralists tend to become experts in their preferred medium and application, be it oil paints, emulsion or acrylic paints  [8]  applied by brush, roller or airbrush / aerosols . Customers will often ask for a certain style and the artist can adapt to the appropriate technology.  [9]  

A consultation usually leads to a detailed design and layout of the proposed mural with a quotation to the customer approves muralist before starting work. The area to be painted can be structured to match the design allows the image to be peeled carefully, step by step. In some cases the design is projected directly onto the wall and traced with a pencil before painting begins. Some muralists will paint directly without Sketch, prefer the spontaneous technique.

Once completed, the mural can be given layer of varnish or protective acrylic glaze to protect the work against UV rays and surface damage.

In modern, fast form of muralling young enthusiasts also use POP clay mixed with glue or bond to give the desired models on a canvas board. The fabric later set aside to let the mud dry. Once dried, the cloth and the shape painted with your choice of colors and later coated with lacquer.

CAM designed Frescography by Rainer Maria Latzke digitally printed on canvas

As an alternative to a hand-painted or airbrushed mural can be digitally printed murals also applied to surfaces. Existing murals can be photographed and then reproduced in close to original quality.

The disadvantages of prefabricated murals and decals is that they often mass produced and lacking attractiveness and exclusivity of an original work of art. They are often not adapted to the individual wall sizes of the customer and their personal ideas or requests can not be added to the mural as it progresses. The Frescography technology a digital method of manufacture (CAM) was invented by Rainer Maria Latzke up some of the personalization and size restrictions.

Digital technology is often used in advertisements. A “wall cape” is a big advertisement on or attached to the outer wall of a building. Wallscapes can be painted directly on the wall as a wall painting, or printed on vinyl, and securely attached to the wall just like a plate. Although not strictly classified as paintings, large scale printed media is often referred to as such.Advertising paintings traditionally painted on buildings and shops of recordings authors, recent large-scale poster signs.

The significance of murals

The San Bartolo mural

Murals are important that they take the art in the public space. Because of the size, cost, and work to create a mural, muralists must often on behalf of a sponsor.Ofta it is the local authorities or a business, but many murals have been paid with grants of patronage. For artists, their work to a wide audience that otherwise might not set foot in an art gallery. A town benefits by the beauty of a work of art.

Murals can be a relatively effective tool of social emancipation or achieving a political objective.  [10] The  paintings have sometimes created the law, or have been commissioned by local bars and cafes. Often the visual effects are an enticement to attract public attention to social issues. State-sponsored public art expressions, particularly paintings, often used avtotalitära regimes as a tool for propaganda. Despite the propagandistic nature of that work, some of them still have an artistic value.

Murals can have a dramatic impact on the conscious or unconscious attitudes passer, when added to the areas where people live and work. It can also be argued that the existence of large public murals can add aesthetic improvement of the daily lives of residents or employees at a company site.

Other world-famous wall paintings can be found in Mexico, New York, Philadelphia, Belfast, Derry, Los Angeles, Nicaragua, Cuba and India. [1] They have served as an important means of communication for members of socially, ethnically and racially divided communities in times of conflict.They also showed to be an effective tool in a dialogue and thus solve the cleavage in the long run. The Indian state of Kerala has exclusive murals.These Kerala mural on the walls of Hindu temples. They can be dated from the 9th century.

The San Bartolo murals of the Maya civilization in Guatemala, is the oldest example of this technique in Mesoamerica and is dated to 300 BC.

Many rural towns have begun using murals to create tourist attractions in order to increase economic income. Colquitt, Georgia is one such city.Colquitt was elected to host the 2010 Global Mural Conference. The city has more than twelve paintings completed, and will be hosting the conference along with the Dothan, Alabama, and Blakely, Georgia. In the summer of 2010, Colquitt begin work on its icon painting.

Murals and politics

Diego Rivera’s mural depicting Mexico’s history vidNational Palace in Mexico City

The Bardia Mural, photographed in the 1960s, before its damage by corruption and the ravages of time.

Wall paintings show the Marxist view of the press in this cafe in East Berlin in 1977 was covered by advertising after Germany was reunited

The Mexican mural movement in the 1930s brought a new prominence to the murals that a social and political tool. Diego Rivera, Jose Orozco and David Siqueiros was the most famous artists in the movement. Between 1932 and 1940, Rivera also painted murals in San Francisco, Detroit, and New York. In 1933 he completed a famous series of twenty-seven fresco panels entitled  Detroit Industry  on the walls of a courtyard of the Detroit Institute of Arts.  [11]  During the McCarthyism of the 1950s, a large sign was placed in the yard defend the artistry of the murals while attacking his policies “abominable”.

The Colombian government in 1948 hosted IX Pan-American Conference to establish the Marshall Plan for America. The head of the OEA and the Colombian government commissioned Master Santiago Martinez Delgado, to paint a mural in the Colombian Congress building to commemorate the event. Martinez decided to do it on the Cucuta Congress, and painted Bolívar front of Santander, upset liberals do; so, because of the murder of Jorge Eliezer Gaitan mobs El bogotazo tried to burn the capital, but the Colombian army stopped them. Several years later, in the 1980s, with the Liberals in charge of Congress, passed a resolution to shut down the whole house of the elliptical room 90 degrees to put the main mural on the side and mission Alejandro Obregon to paint an impartial mural in the surreal style.

Northern Ireland contains some of the most famous political murals in the world.  [12]  Nearly 2,000 paintings have been documented in Northern Ireland since the 1970s.  [13]  More recently, many murals are non-sectarian, political and social issues such as racism and environmentalism and many are completely a-political, depicting children at play and scenes from everyday life. (Senordirländska murals.)

One is not political, but social belonging mural covering one wall of an old building, once a prison, on top of a cliff in Bardiyah in Libya. It was painted and signed by the artist in April 1942 weeks before his death on the first day of the first battle of El Alamein. Known as the Bardia Mural, was created by the English artist, Private John Frederick Brill.  [14]

In 1961, East Germany began erecting a wall between East and West Berlin, which became known as the Berlin Wall. Also on the painting side of East Berlin were not allowed, artists painted on the western side of the wall from the 80th century until the fall of the Wall, 1989.

Many unknown and known artists such as Thierry Noir and Keith Haring painted on the wall, “the world’s longest canvas”. Sometimes detailed artwork often painted over within hours or dagar.På the western side of the wall was not protected, so that everyone can paint on the wall. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the eastern side of the Wall was also a popular “canvas” for many mural and graffiti artists. Orgosolo, Sardinia, is a very important center for paintings policies.

It is also common for wall painting graffiti used as a memoir. In the book “Someone said to me,” Rick Bragg writes about a number of communities, mainly in New York, which has walls dedicated to the innocent lives lost.  [15]These memorials, both the written word and mural style, gives the deceased to be present in the communities where they lived. Bragg says that “murals has woven itself into the fabric of the neighborhoods and the city.” These memorials serve as a constant reminder to the living community of innocent lives lost due to inner city violence.

Murals in modern interior

Traditional interior murals

Forest mural of  a red shoe  in private homes, England 2007

Many people like to express their individuality by commissioning an artist to paint a mural in their home, this is not an activity exclusively for owners of large houses. A mural artist is only limited by the charge and therefore the time of the painting; dictate the level of detail; a single wall painting may be added to the smallest of the walls.

Private tasks can be for dining, bathroom, living room, or, as is often the case-the children’s bedroom. A child’s room can be transformed into “fantasy world” of a forest or the racetrack, encourage imaginative play and an awareness of art.

The current trend for feature walls has increased behalf of muralists in the United Kingdom. A large hand-painted mural can be designed on a theme, incorporate personal pictures and elements and can be changed during the painting. The personal interaction between client and muralist is often a unique experience for an individual usually does not participate in the arts.

In the 1980s, illusionary wall painting experienced a revival in private homes.The reason for this revival of the interior can in some cases be attributed to the reduction of living space for the enskilde.Faux architectural features as well as scenery and views can lead to “open out” walls. Urban areas of housing can also contribute to people’s feelings of being cut off from nature in its free form. A mural commission of this kind may be an attempt by some people to re-establish a balance with nature.

Commissions of murals in schools, hospitals and retirement homes can achieve an attractive and welcoming atmosphere in these care institutions.Murals in other public buildings such as pubs are also common.

Graffiti interior murals

Mint & Serf at Ace Hotel, New York

Recently, graffiti and street art has played a key role in modern mural. Such graffiti / street artists such as Keith Haring, Shepard Fairey, ABOVE, Mint & Serf, Futura 2000 OS GÊMEOS and Faile, among others, has successfully crossed their street art aesthetic outside the walls of the cityscape and on the walls of private and corporate clients. As graffiti / street art became more mainstream in the late 1990s, the youth-oriented brands like Nike, Red Bull and Wieden Kennedy turned to graffiti / street artists to decorate the walls of their offices. This trend continued in the 2000s with graffiti / street art to get more recognition from art institutions worldwide.

Ethnic murals

Rajasthani motifs mural of Kakshyaachitra, Bombay 2014

Many homeowners choose to display the traditional art and culture of their community or events from their history in their homes. Ethnic paintings have become an important form of decoration. Warli painting paintings become a preferred way of wall decoration in India. Warli painting is an ancient Indian art form where the tribal people used to depict different stages of life on the walls of their mud houses.

Tile mural

Panel of tiles by Jorge Colaço (1922) depicts an episode from the battle of Aljubarrota (1385) between the Portuguese and Castilian arméer.En piece of public art in Lisbon, Portugal.

Tile murals are murals made of stone, ceramic, porcelain, glass or metal trays that are installed in, or added to the surface of an existing wall. They are also inlaid in the floor. Wall tiles are painted, glazed, sublime printed (as described below) or the more traditional cut or broken into pieces. Unlike the traditional painted murals as described above, the tile paintings are always done with the use of plates.

Mosaic murals are made by combining small 1/4 “to 2” size pieces of colored stone, tile ceramic or glass and then put out to create an image. Today’s modern technology has made commercial mosaic wall makers to use the computer program to separate the photographs in colors that automatically cut and glued onto discs with a mask create precise paintings quickly and in large quantities.

The azulejo (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐzuleʒu], Spanish pronunciation: [aθulexo]) refers to a typical form of Portuguese or Spanish painted, tin-glazed, ceramic tilework. They have become a typical aspect of Portuguese culture, manifesting without interruption for five centuries, the successive trends in art.

Azulejos can be found inside and outside the churches, palaces, ordinary houses and even train stations or subway stations.

They are used not only as an ornamental art form, but also had a specific functional capacity as temperature control in homes. Many azulejos chronicle major historical and cultural aspects of Portuguese history.

Custom Printed tile murals can be produced using digital images of kitchen splashbacks, wall displays, and floors. Digital images and artwork can be resized and printed to accommodate the desired size of the area to be decorated. Custom tile printing using a variety of techniques, including dye sublimation and ceramic type laser toners. The latter technique can provide fade-resistant custom plates which are suitable for long term outdoor exposure.

notes muralists

  • Edwin Abbey
  • Carlos Almaraz
  • Added Dorothy
  • Judy Baca
  • Banksy
  • Arnold Belkin
  • Thomas Hart Benton
  • John T. Biggers
  • Torsten Billman
  • Henry Bird
  • Edwin Howland Blashfield
  • Pale le Rat
  • Steve Bogdanoff
  • Giotto di Bondone
  • Gabriel Bracho
  • Paul Cadmus
  • Eleanor Coen
  • Dean Cornwell
  • John Steuart Curry
  • Robert Dafford
  • Dora The Larios
  • Santiago Delgado Martinez
  • Faile
  • Shepard Fairey
  • Piero della Francesca
  • Louis Grell
  • Satish Gujral
  • Manav Gupta
  • Richard Haas
  • Keith Haring
  • Albert Henry Krehbiel
  • Susan Krieg
  • Rainer Maria Latzke
  • Tom Lea
  • Will Hicok Low
  • Sofia Maldonado
  • John Anton Mallin
  • Andrea Mantegna
  • Reginald Marsh
  • knox Martin
  • Peter Max
  • Michelangelo
  • Mario Miranda
  • Claude Monet
  • Roberto Montenegro
  • Frank Nuderscher
  • violet Oakley
  • Edward O’Brien
  • Juan O’Gorman
  • Pablo O’Higgins
  • José Clemente Orozco
  • Rufus Porter
  • Aarón Pina Mora
  • Archie Rand
  • Raphael
  • Freydoon Rassouli
  • Diego Rivera
  • Graham Rust
  • Sadequain
  • John Singer Sargent
  • Eugene Savage
  • Conrad Schmitt
  • Clément Serveau
  • David Alfaro Siqueiros
  • Frank Stella
  • Rufino Tamayo
  • Titian
  • Alton Tobey
  • Allen Tupper True
  • Kent Twitchell
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • John Walker Augustus
  • Oliver Henry Walker
  • lucia Wiley
  • Ezra Winter
  • Robert Wyland
  • Isaiah Zagar
  • PK Sadanandan


  • Stylized mural of the miners’ leader Warren James, at a pub in Parkend, Gloucestershire.
  • Painting of Erykah Badu iSutton, Greater London, United Kingdom
  • Mural in Satriano, Italy.
  • 15th century Christ in Majesty in Jaleyrac
  • Building, Boston, Massachusetts, around 1992
  • Paint, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Graffiti mural in Gutovka, Prague 10, Czech Republic, 2012
  • The tree of life, stairway mural of Manav Gupta
  • Orr C. Fischer,  The Corn Parade,  1941, oil on canvas, agricultural -themed mural on the wall of the post office, Mount Ayr, Iowa.  [16]
  • Largest mural stamp of artist Francisco Vargas
  • Mural on Israel’s security barrier
  • Mural against indifference to evil in Warsaw, Poland

See also

  • anamorphosis
  • Bogside Artists
  • Brixton mural painting
  • Detachment of murals
  • List of US post office paintings
  • Mexican muralism
  • Murals in Kerala, India
  • MURAL Festival
  • Newtown area graffiti and street art
  • Post Office paintings
  • Propaganda
  • public art
  • social realism
  • socialist realism
  • The Manchester paintings
  • tiled print
  • Trompe l’Oeil
  • Wall Poetry


  1. Jump up ^ Clare AP Willsdon (2000). Mural in Britain 1840-1940: Image and Meaning. Oxford University Press. p. 394. ISBN 978-0-19-817515-5. Retrieved syv May 2012.
  2. Jump up ^ Only after 664 BC are dates secure. See Egyptian chronology for details.  “Chronology”. Digital Egypt for Universities, University College London. Pulled 03/25/2008.
  3. Jump up ^ Mena Chery, George (ed.):  St. Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India  , Vol. II, 1973; (Eds.) Mena Chery, George  Native American Church History Classics, Vol. I, Nazranies  , Saras, 1998
  4. Jump up  ^ ” ‘Pallikalile Chitrabhasangal” (PDF).
  5. Jump up ^ Péter Bokody,  mural painting as a medium: Technology, Entertainment and liturgy  , in the  image and Christianity: Visual Media in the Middle Ages  , Pannonhalma Abbey, 2014, 136-151
  6. Jump up ^ Selim in August. La Tecnica dell’Antica pittura parietal Pompeiana. Pompeiana, Studi per il 2 ° Centenario degli Scavi di Pompei. Napoli 1950, 313-354
  7. Jump up ^ Jorge CuNi, Pedro CuNi, Brielle Eisen, Rubén Savizki and John Bove. “Characterization of the binding medium used in the Roman encaustic paintings on the wall and the wood.” Analytical methods.Retrieved February 2012.  Check date values in: (help) | Access-date =
  8. Jump up ^  “used by Eric cumini paintings”. Eric cumini. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  9. Jump up ^  “Toronto mural”. Technical aspects of the mural. Toronto muralists. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  10. Jump up ^ Sebastian Vargas. “Seizing the public space”. D + C Development and Cooperation. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  11. Jump up ^  “Diego Rivera”. Olga Gallery. Retrieved 2007-09-24.
  12. Jump up ^ Maximilian Rapp and Markus Rhomberg: Looking for a neutral identity in Northern Ireland’s political murals. In: Peace Review 24 (4).
  13. Jump up ^ Maximilian Rapp and Markus Rhomberg: Importance of paintings during the unrest: Analyze the Republican use of murals in Northern Ireland. In: Machin, D. (Ed.) Visual Communication Reader. De Gruyter.
  14. Jump up ^ Commonwealth War Graves Commission. “Final resting place”. Retrieved 29 May 2006.
  15. Jump up ^ Bragg, Rick.  Someone said to me: Newspaper Stories of Rick Bragg  . New York: Vintage Books, 2001.
  16. Jump up ^  “The Corn Parade”. History Matters. George Mason University. Retrieved 27 August of 2010.