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Murals Wall Paintings And Frescoes History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Architecture is the combination of art and science. Art and science may be two completely different meanings, but in architecture there is the ability to follow each other. What I mean by this is that the art in architecture is not just art. Even the simplest thing in art when it comes to collaborate with architecture it’s surely restudied and tried by technology features if it works properly. Art makes her appearance from the very first prehistoric years. It doesn’t need a definition in order to describe art; everything that someone likes can be a piece of art. Art had been developed as the world history develops, everything that was happening in history could affect art history. The paintings were there and had been continued to exist in the bad and the good moments of humanity. Artists and generally many people found a way to express their feelings, all that they couldn’t say with words they were doing them by painting. They were drawing existing things, situations that had affected the positive or negative or imaginary things, abstract scenes which in reality were symbolizing their dreams, fears, pain, joy, love or whatever the human mind considers as a feeling. Murals, frescoes and mosaics are the perfection of the simple paintings. Their appearance came to give another essence to the world of art and had been innovation in the art of decoration. These famous till now art decoration skills gave architecture’s history another more artistic, creative character and made the escape from these such simple lines and the empty spaces with only columns on them. Murals in addition made people get more interested in architecture spaces, gave them further information about the history, customs, or other habits of our ancestors. Generally different aspects of real life moments that we couldn’t capture or count that were existing . Mural history lasted for many years and even and in now days we can find mural decorations in many countries over the world. And finally by their study was succeeded the cultural and technological development which takes them in other proportions and made them unique.

Murals, the walls in Latin language, are large scale paintings which are applied directly to walls, ceilings and large flat surfaces. At their first years, about 32 000 years ago, had been used especially in caves, were the most known examples found in France and Spain but generally cave murals existed in India, Australia, Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. The first mural was found in Horse Panel in the Chauvet Cave, in France in 30 000 BC . Few years later they discovered other old chronological mural from 1200 BC in Altmira, Spain. Most common subjects that were found in the caves were animal figures, and to be more precise wild and big animals like horses, deers, crocodiles, bears, lions, mammoths and rhinoceroses. The colours that were using were the classical red, black and the yellow ochre. In the later years we can notice their development as we have new techniques , new themes vary from place to place and innovations in decoration, in Egypt, Greece and Rome. The murals in these locations generally were applied mostly in public buildings such as churches, tombs, temples, museums, palaces, because were costing a lot and the government was paying for their application. Murals were both used in interior and exterior, despite that the exterior’s ones in majority had been destroyed from manmade or organic disasters. The subjects in Egypt were in their majority life scenes from the king accompanied with the hieroglyphic language. The technique on drawing that Egyptians were using was called “twisted perspective” as in the paintings the eyes and shoulders were looking in front and the legs and head in profile. In Greece on the other side the subjects were ceremony scenes, scenes of life and society and different historical events. The roman frescoes, which were affected from those in Greece, were themes in reverse were realistic scenes of homes, gardens, blue skies, and mythology and erotic themes as well. Especially in the Renaissance all the human figures in the frescoes were naked. The last mural had been done in 1995 in Balma, in the Cathedral of St Paul in Minnesota.

The most known form of mural art is the Fresco art. The word Fresco is Italian and in English means fresh. In Frescoes the paints were applied directly in wet lime plaster. The early Frescoes were painted on limestone walls but later by the 1500 BC had been painted on wet plaster, because wet plaster was allowing more flexibility in its application and the location could be applied for decoration. The most known examples of Frescoes had been found in Crete, a Greek island, in 1700 BC; where the method of adding the lime on the wet plaster and paint had been invented and later consummated by a Renaissance artist. The most interesting fresco that was found in Crete was a competition of athletic content between three young men. After the involvement of Crete, the Frescoes were divided to two different methods the Buon Fresco and the Secco Fresco. The Buon Fresco, otherwise in English the “good”, was the method when the colour was applied in wet lime plaster with water allowing the paint to get into the plaster. The Secco Fresco, which means “dry” fresco, was the application of paint in dry plaster organically. As the Buon Fresco technique invented later in Crete, in the early years in caves the Frescoes were applied by the Secco technique. Later in the middle ages, the technique had been perfected and the plaster was including fine sand, lime and marble dust, which was set in small sections. So the large Fresco was comprised from small sections and the joint was almost invisible.

From the fourth century till the thirteen century the mural decoration of Europe was bestrided from the mosaics. In mosaics were used different coloured stones in order to create patterns. In fourth century in Greece the mosaics turned to a piece of art form as they started the use of geometric patterns and detailed scenes of people and animals. In 200 BC became more detailed and the colours had been more advanced. In Roman the mosaics were used more for flooring purposes. Their subjects were scenes of celebrating their gods, domestic themes and of course geometric designs. Contrary to roman mosaics, Byzantine mosaics were used to more for walling and rarely for flooring. In fifth century where Byzantine Empire reached a peak in the center of Byzantium, Constantinople (today Istanbul) the theme of the mosaics was Christian. There were done portraits and Christian scenes by using especially glass, which was allowing light reflection too. Later in the Islamic mosaic art, in eighth century, they were using glass, stone and ceramic for the mosaics. The innovation on Islamic mosaic art was the use of mathematical and more geometric themes. In nineteenth century we have the renaissance of the Byzantine style in combination with gothic components. Finally in twentieth century we had the use of mosaics for the exterior of the buildings and the consideration that mosaics consist formal art and architecture till now days in twenty-first century that is the century of modern mosaics. The most famous mosaic in the history of mosaics was the Alexander mosaic in Pompeii which had been done in 100 BC approximately. It’s worth to be referred that the famous Gaudi had made mosaics too.

The most known mural artists make were found in the Italian Renaissance. The trinity of this period , great masters , were Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. The ultimate “Renaissance Man” was Leonardo Da Vinci, who was born in1452. The artist and scientist left behind him some of the most art and science masterpieces in history. His most famous mural was the “Last Supper”, a fifteenth century wall painting with Christian content. Michelangelo Buonarroti was professional paint artist, sculpture, poet and architect born in 1475; he was doing frescoes for many years. The frescoes in the ceiling and the walls of Sistine Chapel in Vatican made him one of the most famous renaissance artists. His fresco, “The creation of Adam” which is located of course in Sistine Chapel is the most known fresco, a fresco that we can find in paintings in houses all these years. The third of them, Raphael Sanzio, born 1483 was the youngest of the trinity and was of course another Italian painter and architect of High Renaissance. His most large fresco works had been found in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican with “The school of Athens” to mark out and consists one of his top works. Moreover other most known fresco architect and artist in the history of murals is Giotto Di Bondone, Italian Renaissance representative too, who was doing humanistic religious frescoes. In his later years had been affected from gothic style and his famous fresco, was the fresco of life at Saint Francis at Assissi. In the other side the most known Baroque mural artists were Tiepolo, Peter Paul Rubens and Giovanni Battista.

These murals, wall paintings, frescoes, mosaics and generally all the artistic surfaces in buildings weren’t just decoration skills. They h ad been reflected cultural and technological development as well. Every mural had its own particular history, proportion. On the one hand the themes of the murals were varying from location to location because every country had its particular culture, history, customs, and religion so the wall paintings were affected surely from these factors. On the other hand the quality of the murals was developing by the period of time, so the artists after doing many of them tried to applicate new ideas of making the process easier and made more professional tools in order to have a further help.

The existence of the cultural development is very obvious. The wall paintings show from all those images their historical background. All these subjects in the walls helped the historians to learn more about the life in the prehistoric years, the years that we don’t have writing marks. People couldn’t write but they could draw what they were feeling in caves initially and then in walls. As we can see at first there were painting wild animals, so this accordingly to the researchers shows their initial enemies. People these years were all the time in danger from these wild animals, and many of them have been killed and eaten by them. Later we had the hunting scenes, the ceremony scenes in Egypt and Greece, which show how people, were finding their food, how they were killing their nutrition. The detail in the murals indicates even how their weapons were done and their materials. In the ceremony, life and society scenes were showing how they were admiring their gods, who and how were these gods, the offers to them, their customs and formal occasions. In Egypt even the big disasters that happened to them were shown in the murals, in few words their paintings is an open book for the Egyptian history. Roman frescoes at their majority were realistic scenes of homes, palaces, figures of naked people, gardens and fruit trees and finally scenes of the gods of mythology. From these murals we find out what happens inside the palaces something that wasn’t public to all, we get a general essence of how the interior was like, how and where they were having fun. In addition it can be noticed that Venus was one of the most loving gods of the mythology. In the Byzantine murals, were the wall paintings, were scenes from the Bible and Christian symbols, the murals confirmed the evidences that were written in the Bible. Generally wall paintings were one of the most unexceptional detail records of historical events, since the famous logo says one image equal to thousand words.

In terms of technological development, by a detailed analysis made from professionals came out a lot of conclusions that show that from mural to mural exists difference and further development in materials and techniques generally. The most obvious development was in the process of fresco, which turns from “Secco” to “Buon” fresco. In other words the application of pigment on dry plaster and the use of water to make it pass through the plaster giving it automatically more facility in use, than in dry plaster as was used before. The most important development on the other side was the entrance of maths and geometry in the fresco technique. Leonardo Da Vinci make the first step with the ” Vetruvius Man” in 1490, showing how a well built man with extended members can fit into the most known geometrical figures which are the circle and the square. This helps in order the artistic sector, which were the frescoes to fit in the geometrical aspects of the ceilings or columns. Furthermore the fresco artists have found a pigment system, in which the mixture of the colour with the plaster looks like, is a real part of the material. In sixteenth century has started the method that we use till today, which is not other from the paintings with oil paints in canvas. The artists like now were finishing their paintings at their spaces and then were instate them in the walls. Modern technologies and the variety of materials that exist in now days have added new more professional quality and look in fresco. To be more accurate modern technology provides tools that had been improved a lot; we got off the first murals that were painted with animal bones or feathers now the frescoes are being made with trowels. The new technologies get rid of mistakes or problems with the materials or the quantity of the paints and the most important they don’t waste so much time in every mural as the tools are bigger and design for these particular purposes hasn’t been found in nature.

Concluding, nobody can argue that murals, frescoes, mosaics haven’t affect or developed history, architecture, technology and culture. Undoubtedly this form of decoration came to give another essence to the decoration history, to the art history and of course to the architecture history. It was an interesting innovation in decoration of many buildings that gave colour and a kind of breath to the white colorless walls, which constituted only elements of the structure. For me one of the best adjectives of mural paintings was the information given. To be more specific, the contents of the decoration paintings were key words in the puzzle of our origin history. They were given just details but for the researchers is not like this from every particular detail in each fresco or mural years of research were covered in just few minutes. Is is good to see murals that are not only just a painting but whole stories that have something to teach you or to pass you through. Finally the number of the people who visited museums, churches or old palaces which now are open sights, to see these murals, mosaics and frescoes that have been rescued till today is an alive proof that, art is historical and in these days were the stocks and the ideals of people had been lost and destroyed , the interest for art remains invulnerable.

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