Essay: Muralism and the Art of Mural Painting

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Muralism is term which is used to identify an art movement which developed in Mexico in the first decades of the XX century which involve the production of large scale paintings known as murals. The term can also be used in a general sense to refer to a type of mural painting which deals with social or political content. In this thesis I will use the second meaning of the word because it alloweds my to refer by just ending a adjutivet to refer either to the mexican or the sardinian movemetn.

Around the second half of the XX century muralism, the art of painting social and political content on walls developed in other parts of the world. In the untied states at the end of the 1960 developed the Chicano mural movement, as a tool for the Latino minorities living in the country to express them self. In Chile after the military coup of 1973 developed a Chilean movement (Rolstone, 2014, p.6). Other movements are the

The art of Mural painting

Mural painting is the art of painting an image on a wall or a ceiling. It is an art which is highly related to architecture. From a historic point of view, the two have always been united serving each other in order to meet a particular spatial experience, in fact until the XVIII century every great style in architecture has had a corresponding style in mural painting. It is just since the 19th century under influence of industrialisation that the two have start to drift apart and become more separate (Feibusch, 1946, p.18).

It is also a form of public art since mural-paintings are set in the public space and are accessible to everyone. Contemporary art displayed in museums is understandable only to specialized groups of people leaving a big part of the audience out. Public art on the contrary, is accessible to everyone, both in the sense of physical reachability and of understanding. It is a form of art made with and for the community and talks about things people know (Miles, 1997, p.1-3).

Mural painting differs from modern forms of wall related arts such as graffiti or writing. Mural painting has a long tradition and history which goes back to the beginning of human civilization. They represent complete drawings and speak about the values and beliefs of local communities. By contrast graffiti and writing are recent phenomena, which developed only in the last decades of the XX century. They represent stylized signatures and express the feelings of an individual artists (Camera, 2013, p.23).

The History of mural painting

In this paragraph I will give an overview of the development of the mural painting in the western society, from the Greco-Roman period until 1900.

Greco-Roman murals achieved complete three dimension, perfect roundness of figures modelled in colour, light and shade, and extensive use of perspective.

Represented were decorative elements such as landscapes and still-lifes and architectural elements as windows, doors, loggias and pillars which were meant to make space appear larger. this practice called trompe-l’oeil which in French mean deception of the eye, will be brought to its perfection in the Baroque by Tiepolo (Feibusch, 1946, p.24-25).

In Byzantine art the expression of monumentality and the supernatural become the most important thing. Murals become flat. Figures are stylised and the backgrounds are flatten out. The background becomes of just one colour a represent an infinite transcendental space in which figures flow.

The compositions become symmetrical whit usually the most important figure placed at the centre.

and emphasised by size (Feibusch, 1946 p.25-26).

During the middle-ages the construction of a depth is back, figures acquire again a sculptural quality.

The background

Key masters are Cimabue, Duccio and Giotto. Giotto is a key artist who forms a threshold between

medieval art and Renaissance art. Giotto depict a measurable spaces. Figures even if they are

sculptural are still flat because of the thick outline. The composition always moves upward or sidewards.

Piero della Francesca is the last artist who made flat murals. which runs parallel to the wall

and not in it.

Slowly from the Middle-age a practice developed witch actualize itself during Renaissance, the

breaking throw the wall, making the illusion of a spaces behind it. At the beginning of the

Renaissance perspective was theorized and largely applied to mural painting. The perspective was

always one point and aimed to the unification of architectural elements in the picture. First niches

and shallow rooms were depicted. Mantenga is one of the first we experimented with this new device.

The perspective form of representation had some problems because it worked only from a certain

view point. To solve this problems an imaginary view point was introduced.

During baroque artist start to strive to the create the illusion of an infinite spaces. Not only artist

strive to it but also architecture itself. With baroque we have the climax of this purchase. Tiepolo

brought this art to its maximum.

There is the question how to treat them as flat, as relief, as rounded surfaces or openings involves

great differences in execution and some difficulties of the first magnitude. It does not have a upper or

under part. Must be understood from where it s looked. By renaissance and Byzantines these was

solved by painting the figures flat on the surface in and arranging them in concentric circles..

sometimes they cut up the surface by a diagonal line using the base of thus created triangles as the

bottom of a separate picture. Some artist just ignore theme paint like their were vertical and need to

be seen from one side only, than there are artist who start from one side and let the figures grow

throw the centre of the ceiling. Other cover all with medallions or in many small pictures. Or by

making figures standing upward and giving the impressions of the continuation of architecture.

Great changes in style were always characterized by new representations of space. How this in turn

were the always the outcome of changing religious and scientific attitude. Byzantine and medieval

stretched vertically between heaven and earth was adequate represented in a two dimensional art. The

Renaissance with interest in all direction had a clearly modelled 3 dimensional space in which every

object had it proper place and stability. The baroque idea was one of a moment into infinity one

might say in the early days space is immeasurable but only in us; in the Renaissance it becomes a

measurable thing outside us, in the baroque infinite again, outside but drawing us into itself. The

felling our time is again infinity. but in which we are here and far away at the same time. In the

baroque the movement is stressed while in modern art its the bridging of distance of the object,

which is done by mechanical means and often so quickly we are at two spaces at the same time, great

distances and complete nearness at the same time which is so characteristic for our time (Feibusch,

1946, p.25-38).

In the Baroque and Rococo mural painting and architecture were put toghter in order to create fluid composition in which walls and ciling open to the infinite.

There is a big difference between vertical and horizontal paintings. Horizontal paintings do not have an under or an upper part. (Feibusch, 1946, p.25-38).

















Creation Mexican art

Express own identity





A mural is an image painted or applied directly onto a wall or a ceiling (brittanica).

One of the elements which distinguish mural painting from other forms of painting is its connection to the context. The context of a mural is architectural, environmental and socialt.

The architectural context is formed by building. The limits of the building form the limits of the painting. The environmental context are the site specific conditions such as light and shade. Light and shade which falls on the wall influence the appearance of colours.

The social context is formed by the community for which the mural is meant to. The content of a mural relate to the history and believes of people of a certain area.

(Cockroft, 1998, p.239).

When a mural is detached from its context something what sometimes happens when a mural is moved into a museum it original intentions are lost.

The surface on which a mural is made can be privately or publicly owned and located inside or outside a building the distinction between the ownership and the location of the paintings is very important since they have a big influences on the themes and the scope of the mural as on its visibility.





Sintitically there exists two types of murals of their existens already domthing have been told it the previous paragraf.

In flat murals the movment is always parallel to the wall, upwards or sidewards.

Three dimensional murals are murals in which the movment is perpendicular to the wall. All the movement goes into or out of the picture , crearting a depth of space inot which the eyey can travel.

This movment can be created in several ways one is the use of persective an under one is by placing figures in differetn bands.

Three dimensional murals are complex because of the

view point

arhcitectural elements. It rise the question for the artist how to deal with it.





Artists have over time developed different techniques to paint on walls. In this paragraph I will present a short list of the most common techniques. The oldest methods, which were already used in Greco-Roman period are Encaustic, Fresco and tempera painting.

Encaustic painting consists in mixing colour pigments with a molten resin binder and to apply it on a surface while still hot. It is one of the most common painting techniques of the ancient world and of the first centuries of the Christian era but fell into disuse in the 8th or the 9th century (Chilves, 1988 p.164).

Fresco is a wall painting method in which colour pigment are mixed with water and applied on a wet freshly laid plaster. When the plaster reacts with the air it dries and fixes the paint on the wall. This technique is also called Buon fresco (true fresco) to distinguish it from painting on dry plaster called fresco secco. Of all the techniques it is the one which gives the best results, at the same time it also one the most difficult to manage, it needs many years of experience to be mastered properly (Feibusch, 1946, p.67-73).

Tempera is paint in which colour pigment is dissolved in water and mixed with an organic glue such as yolk or egg. Tempera has a very luminous and delicate character. It is an easy method which gives a good result (Chilves, 1988, p.489).

Encaustic, fresco and tempera were in the past the most common, these methods are the only ones in which the painting becomes one with the wall. Paint is absorbed in the wall and ca not be washed out. Beside the just mentioned methods there are also more recent ones such as oil painting, acrylic painting, and wallscapes.

Oil painting become popular in the 16 century and consists in mixing colour pigment with oil. Of the different techniques, it is one of the least satisfactory for murals. It lacks both brilliances of colour and surface texture. With the years when the oil is absorbed by the wall and the colours grow darker and yellow. It is also extremely sensible to decay (Chilvers,1988, p.).

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. It is soluble in water, but become water-resistant when dry and can be used on a variety of surfaces to creates effects ranging from thin washes to rich thick opaque paints (Chilvers, 1988, p.4).

Wallscapes is a digital technique developed in the last decades which is mostly used in the advertisement industry which consist in painting or printing a design on a vinyl and then to attached it on a surface (Kordich 2004).

These more recent methods do have the advantage that they are fast, cheap and easy to manage. However they do not achieve the unity whit the wall as the previous mentioned techniques do.


Muralism is an art movement based on the art of mural painting which developed in Mexico at the beginning of the XX century. From Mexico muralism become popular in other parts of the world leading to the development of parallel movements. Further we have seen that the art of mural painting is reused but content and style is adapted to each specific context.

Mural painting, the art of painting on a wall or a ceiling. Mural painting is highly related to architecture: in a organic way, being an integer part of the wall, and historically since every great style in architecture had a corresponding style in mural painting. It is a form of public art since it is located in the public spaces and it deals with issues related to the people. Mural painting has a long history which starts with the Greco-Roman period and continues until today. Over the centuries mural painting has changed as believes and societies have. The purpose of mural painting has changed over time. From simply decorative during the Greco-Roman period, to religious under the middle ages and renascence, to social and political nowadays. Further, we have seen that in each period space has been reproduced in a different way.

Men has developed several methods for making a mural. The oldest are encaustic, fresco and tempera painting. These give the best results but are the most difficult to manage. New techniques exist which are easier cheaper and faster such as oil, acrylic painting and wallscapes. However they do not achieve the same quality as the old ones. To conclude

2. The Revival of Mural Painting

Mexican Muralism is an art movement of the beginning of the XX century under which the ancient art of mural painting was rediscovered. In 1921 at the end of the Mexican Revolution the government set up a national mural program to promote the values of the revolution to all layers of society.

Mexican mural paintings are usually set in public buildings and were meant to promote the identity of Mexico as a mestizo nation celebrating both indigenous and Spanish backgrounds and to promote art as a public good, not only the domain of a few wealthy collectors. Common imagery in these murals include depictions of the revolution (both positive and negative), a technological and scientific future, scenes of every day life and ancient Mexico, the horrors of the war, and a fear of technology.

Many generations of artist were committed to the mural movement the most famous and leaders of the movement were the so-called “Los three grandes”, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. This three artist made a large number of mural paintings of social and political content. (1910-1920)

Origins, Porfirio’s Regime and the Revolution

The origin of Mexican Muralism relate to Porfirio’s Regime and the consecutive Mexican Revolution. Porfirio Diáz was a Mexican general and politician who served as president from 1876 to 1911. Under his authority, liberal policies were adopted which resulted in an extraordinary economic expansion and the modernization of the country. Whereas, inequalities in society increased exponentially forming two distinctive realities. One figuring the ruling class, rich families close to the president, which benefited from the development of the country, and one defined by the lower classes which experienced injustice, abuses, and misery (Orozco, 2014, p.256).

This contradiction lead finally to the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), an armed revolt which brought to the fall of Porfirio’s regime and later to a civil war, under which several governments succeed each other. The civil war ended in 1921 when general Álvaro Obregón (1880-1920) got in power. Obregón appointed Jose Vasoncelos as minister of public education who promoted the national mural program. The idea of the program was to strengthen the knowledge and values of the revolutionary period in the country, giving to the muralists the big spaces they could use for their creations. These spaces were public buildings used as canvas to translate scenes from the past, present and future of Mexican nation (Orozco, 2014, p.257)

The strive for a Mexican art

Mexican mural painting is influenced by the European and the local indigenous art. When Spanish colonisers discovered the new world they imported the European culture. They also imported the art of mural painting to evangelise the local population. Subsequently Mexican art has always conform itself to European standards. In addition also under Porforio’s regime this was practice. Which promoted the cultural production of the country by financing art schools based on European academies and by sending students abroad in Europe.

The indigenous art tradition dates back to precolonial times. Characteristic for this art is the use of bright colour schemes, illustrative are the mural paintings of the “Temple of the Mural” of Bonampak, an archaeological Maya site. Since the arrive of the colonisers indigenous culture has always been discouraged. Under the regime indigenous culture was oppressed.

Further, the works of two Mexican artists were fundamental to develop Mexican Muralism and Art in general. One is Gerardo Murillo (1875-1964), known as Dr Alt, who during Porfirio’s Regime promoted the idea of an independent Mexican art free from European models. Murillo painted one of the first murals and organised an important art exhibition about native Mexican artist which had a big influence on the later art production (source).

The second is José Guadalupe Posada (1854-1913), a printmaker and engraver, famous for his satiric cartoons. He invented the characters of “la Catrina”, an elegant upper-class woman who dressed in European style. This figure was a criticism against the Mexican élite. The character became very famous in Mexico and has often been repurposed by other artists (source).

Mexican murals

Mexican mural paintings are located inside important public buildings of big cities. The murals cover the walls of atriums, staircases or the ceilings of big chambers inside institutional buildings. The paintings are usually of monumental proportions and are made in the fresco technique. To clarify also other techniques were used such as encaustic painting or mixed techniques but fresco painting was the most common.

The paintings contain social or political messages which relate to the events of the Mexican revolution. Many include elements of Marxism or highlighting the struggle of the working class against oppression. As reported by Orozco(2014, p.264) over time the content of the murals changed. It is possible to distinguish three generations of murals each with its own focus.

The first generation of murals were about the achievements of the Mexican Revolution and the precursor situation during the Porfiirio’s dictatorship. The Display of revolutionaries, peasant, workers and soldiers of the rebellion is called the positive trinity, and the display of -is called the negative trinity are part of this group.

The second generation of paintings is related more revolutionary movements in other parts of the world such as defeat of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala (1954), the Cuban Revolution (1959), student movements in various countries (1968), the military coup in Chile (1973), and the Nicaragua Revolution (1979).

The third generation of murals is about globalisation and civil rights movement around the world.

The style of the paintings are figurative and realistic, narrative and symbolic, allegorical and mythical.

Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera is one of the most important Mexican artist of the XX century, famous because of his mural paintings and because he contributed to develop Mexican art in general.

Diego Rivera was born in 1886 in Guanajuato, a small town in Mexico from a well to do family. At just ten years old he started his training at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts. Here he received training modelled on conservative European academies.

In 1907, thanks to the sponsorship of the Mexican government Rivera went abroad in Europe. Here he stayed for 14 years and encountered some of the greatest artist of his time such as Amadeo Modigliani, Ilya Ehrenburg, Chaim Soutine, Max Jacob, and Moise Kisling. He also met Pablo Picasso, George Braque and Cezánne who at that time were developing Cubism. The encounter of so many artists had a deep influence on Rivera and was fundamental for his formation. In 1921 Rivera went back to Mexico where he joined the national mural program. Rivera’s first mural is Creation a complex allegorical composition, which combines Mexican, Judeo-Christian, and Hellenic motifs. In 1930, Rivera moved to the US where he made some of his best works, such as the fresco cycle At Detroit Industry Museum or Man at Crossroad at the Rockfeller Centre at New York. Rivera returned to Mexico in 1933 where, with the exception of a short stay at San Francisco during which he painted Pan America, he remained until his dead in 1975 (

Dream of a Sunday afternoon in Alameda central Park

Dream of a Saturday afternoon in Alameda central Park is one of Rivera’s last works It is an immense mural of 4,5 x 12m, painted by Rivera between 1946-1947 on request of architect Carlos Obregon Santacilia for the vestibule of Hotel del Prado.

The mural portrays 400 years of Mexican history. From the left to the right three principal periods are depicted; the European conquest and religious intolerance during the colonial era, the dreams of a democratic nation during the 19th century represented by the figure of Benito Juarez which restored the Republic after the French occupation and the revolutionary battles against Porforios regime.

In the middle of the composition a group of four people is depicted; figuring Rivera itself, his wife, Frida Kahlo, the print-maker Jose Guadalupe Posada, and the iconic character of the Catrina with around her neck feathered Mesoamerican serpent god Quetzalcóatl. Kahlo stands behind a child-version of her husband, with one hand protectively on his shoulder as her other holds a Yin and Yang object. In Chinese philosophy, Yin and Yang refer to opposite yet interdependent forces, like day and night. Within the name of this concept is perhaps the most fundamental duality in humanity: female (“Yin”) and male (“Yang”). Thus, this Chinese symbol becomes a metaphor for Rivera and Kahlo’s complex relationship: Rivera began as Kahlo’s mentor; they then married, separated, and got back together; they were political comrades, and they painted each other frequently. Kahlo was ill as Rivera worked on this mural and his diminished size may reflect his feelings of helplessness.

For some art historians, the central area is a snapshot of bourgeois life in 1895—as refined ladies and gentlemen promenade in their Sunday best, under the watchful eye of Porfirio Díaz in his plumed military garb. One gets a sense of the inequality that stirred average Mexicans to overthrow their dictator and initiate the Mexican Revolution which lasted from 1910 until 1920.

In this light, we can appreciate the dreams and nightmares within each epoch. To the left of the balloons, the nightmares of the conquest and religious intolerance during the colonial-era give way to the dream of a democratic nation during the nineteenth century, represented by the over-sized figure of Benito Juárez, who restored the republic after French occupation and attempted to modernize the country as president. On the right of the composition, beyond the bandstand, the battles of the revolution give way to a society where “land and liberty,” as championed by the workers’ flags, becomes a tangible reality. The artist reminds the viewer that the struggles and glory of four centuries of Mexican history are due to the participation of Mexicans from all strata of society (Doris Maria-Reina Bravo)

José Clemente Orozco

Jose Clemente Orozco was of “the three great” the most complex. He was interested and elaborated on the theme of human suffering. Despite Rivera and Siqueiros he was less fascinated by progress and industrialisation and looked critical towards the revolution which in his view was causing to much blood shading. He also,

He, was born at Zapotlán El Grande in 1883. As a child he came in contact with the work of Posada. Who had an open window studio close to his school. The exposure to Posada’s work had a great influence on him. Initially Orozco studied at the Agriculture and Architecture School. Later he went to the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts.

In 192? he joined the Government’s mural program like Rivera did and made a large number of murals. Between 1922-1924 he painted a set of murals at the national preparatory school. Between 1925-26 omniscience and a mural at the industrial school at Veracruz. From 1927 to 1934 Orozco worked and lived in the US, where he painted several murals. At the Pomona College in California, he painted Prometheus, one of his best works, and the first modern mural made in the US.

In 1935 Orozco turned back to his country, where he continued to work as an artist. In the same year he received the commission by the state government to paint three fresco series at three institutional buildings at Guadalajara. After his work at Guadalajara , Orozco made a few minor works and illustrated a book. He died at Mexico City in 1949 (Egleson, 1941).

The Hospicio Canbañas Fresco cycle

Orozco’s fresco cycle at the hospicio Cabañas made between 1937 and 1939 at Guadalajara are the last of a series of three fresco cycles. The hospicios structure is a former chapel, in Franciscan style, simple and austere and finely proportioned. In plan it is a symmetrical cross,with a cupola over the intersection, and the wings roofed by vaults. The structure is one of the finest setting for murals of the many buildings that Orozco has decorated.

Orozco painted in the centre of the cupola a figure of a man aflame. Around him there are three recumbent figures which cover the base of the hemisphere.

The painting is heroic in mood, and its solemnity and grandeur evoke a comparison with the Sistine Chapel. While Michelangelo, however, conceived of his forms as sculpture and painted the illusion of a physically solid mass, Orozco’s concept is rectly a painter’s one, respecting fully the plastic nature of medium. In the Hospicio, moreover, the artist has not sub- divided his surface with false architecture, but has assumed that his function is a complementary, rather than an imitative one.

Notable especially in the style of the work, is the way in which the whites, often with a single line of masterly simplicity, define the nature of the forms to give them fluent and passionate life, as in the raised head of the recumbent figure on the right. In overall effect, the whites energize the large pattern, giving it movement and continuity as they do similarly in the work of the Byzantines. Style here is an organic element. In its complete freedom, its boldness, and its rich linear quality, it is an authentic expression of the Mexican ethos; as deeply rooted as the bas-reliefs of Palenque or Chichen Itza .On the vaults and the walls below, are paintings that tell with a legendary quality of the long history of the time of man.

They have an effect as direct as music, in the emotion aroused in one’s deep consciousness of their truth. Unlike non-representational painting, however, definite and familiar forms are employed as language to communicate meaning. The work is profoundly and satisfyingly intelligible, for its emotional and imaginative qualities are related visually and directly to their first cause, the life of man. Remembered, while one looks at these, non-representational painting seems by contrast a meaningless structure of aesthetic machinery with no function to perform, nor knowledge of life to communicate. In total effect, the Hospicio work is a consummate integration of both art and architecture.

Words are inadequate and even photographs fail to convey the imaginative richness and majesty of the whole, as one feels it there with colour, space, and architectural form contributing to a profound creative experience. For the five hundred children who live and are educated in the Hospicio, the meaningful, evocative, and moving patterns of their environment must do as much as any educational effort can, to help them understand the world intuitively, clearly and simply. Painting could serve no finer purpose than that; contributing to the maturity and enlarging the conceptions of tomorrow’s citizens, workers, and teachers, for the common welfare (Egleson, 1940).

David Alfaro Siqueiros

David Alfaro Siqueiros was of the three great painters the youngest and the most radical. He was born in 1896 at Camango Chihuahua, second of three children of a well off family.

He was formed at the San Carlos Art Academy. Siqueiros was a radical men and was always involved with sticks protest and even revolts. When he was eighteen he joined the Venustiano’s Carranza’s army and fought, against Huertas army and fractions of Pancho Villa and Emilio Zapata.

When the revolutionary fights ended, Siqueiros moved to Mexico City were he pick up painting. In 1919 he went to Europe and visited different capitals. At Paris he meet the new avant-garde and his follow country men Rivera, together they went to Italy to study the great murals of the Renaissance.

When he went back to Mexico he started to paint murals. His best work is considered to be the Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros, located in Mexico City. Other works..?? His radical politics made him unwelcome in Mexico and the United States, so he did much of his work in South America.

Though the painter continued to be productive through the end of the 60s and early 70s, he was already very ill with prostate cancer. A strong and stubborn man, however, Siqueiros refused to see the doctors, until the pain became too severe to endure. He was diagnosed in May 1973, by which point little could be done to help him. The verdict was given to him beneath his own mural, Defense of the Future Victory of Medical Science over Cancer (1958), painted more than a decade earlier.

Siqueiros died on Sunday, January 6, 1974, putting a cap on a long and adventurous life. He was interred in the Rotunda of Famous Men of the Civil Pantheon of Mourning, in Mexico City. Hundreds attended the funeral, including people from all walks of life: fellow artists, politicians, Party comrades and simply admirers of his art.

From the Dictatorship of Porfirio Diáz to the Revolution

One of Siqueiros most iconic works is people in arms. The mural made between 1957 and 1966 at the Museo Nacional de Historia at the Castillo de Chapultepec, shows de clash between the revolutionary forces and the elite in power.

At the left are depicted the bodies of those who died fighting against Porifirio’s Regime moving to the centre the armed peasant who rise against the ruling elite are portrayed. The peasant wear zapatista clothing. And between the crowed the political leaders are portrayed of the revolt like Zapata, Obregon, Villa and Caranza which are according to siquerios the result of social forces.

Looking at the right side of the mural we see the ruling elite. Porfiorio Diaz site comfortably on a chair surrounded by los cientificos, his technocrat advisors looking to some dancing woman. At his foot the Mexican constitution.

At the centre of the mural the clash between the this two social classes is depicted. The striking workers of the mines of Camea facing off with William C. Green of the Green Candidate Copper Company of America struggle for control of the national flag of Mexico. The strikes of Canoa of 1906 are historical seen as the beginning of the revolution.

At the right a horse is depicted which suddenly stops which stands for the suspend of the revolution. Throw reaction and contraction but the fight is never finished (art and revolution, Stevie merino 2010).


Mexican muralism is a movement which developed after the Mexican revolution, which was moved by the contradiction in society. Muralism stared as program sponsored by the national government as a mean to communicate to all layers of society in an easy way the values of the revolution. The basis for muralism and a the development of national Mexican art were created by Murillo and Posada before the revolution.

Mexican mural paintings are located inside public buildings and usually made in the fresco technique. At the beginning the content of the murals were about the revolution and Porfirio’s regime. Later it shifted to revolutionary movements in other countries and to global issues. The style of the murals change per artist. However they are all figurative since they have to be comprehensible to everyone.

The leading artist of the Mexican muralism were the three great , Rivera, Orozco and Siqieros. This three artist were very different from each other however they share some common points. Such as their education. They all were formed at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts at Mexico city. They had the same political believes. And all worked in the United States. The most important thing that they had in common of course is that they all tried to express their political believes throw mural painting. The Mexican muralist together succeed to create a Mexican art, reflection of both European and indigenous culture, in this sense Mexican art helped to shape Mexican identity.

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