April 21, 2024

Wall painting. A brief history

Wall painting

Ancient people initiated the technique of wall painting more than 18 thousand years ago, when they had only natural “paints” at their disposal.

A striking example is the rock paintings on the walls of the Spanish Altamira caves. Although a very limited palette of colors was available to man, it didn’t prevent him from creating colorful images. Of course paints were created from natural materials: coal, manganese, ocher, blood and were diluted with water or animal fat.

The next step in the development of mural painting was the construction of temples, where artists could implement different painting techniques and create a single composition.


The most important contribution to the history and development of painting on the walls are rightly considered drawings created by masters of Ancient Egypt. Their works date back to the 3rd and 4th millenniums BC. At that time the greatest attention was paid to temples and pyramids where one could see not only images of Egyptian gods, but also traced the chronicle of historic events. The first canonical styles of painting were established and the palette of colors expanded.

Another example of ancient art are the paintings of Crete. They are made of raw plaster and were created for palaces. The latter were decorated with both friezes and panels with murals. Although the paintings remained decorative and flat, bright colors were used for the drawings.

Wall painting

Gradually, patterns and ornaments began to be added to the painting in addition to depictions of man; instead of the usual heroic subjects, artists focused more on lyrical motifs. Again, predominantly bright and saturated colors were chosen. One reason was the difficulty of perceiving light shades on white marble walls.

The next step is the transfer of wall paintings to the state rooms, when the main attention is paid to the interior. A new round of development is observed in Ancient Rome.

Painting of Ancient Greece has reached us small samples, but they show that the art of Hellenes reached a high level of both realism and symbolism in painting.

The pompous decoration of houses was based on the works of Greek artists, the technique of painting reached a high level. The walls reflected the decorations of theaters, palaces or rich ornaments, the purpose of which was to reflect the splendor and wealth of the owner.

The Renaissance – a new era and the second birth of mural painting

A distinction of this period can be called an increase in the role of the church interior, as well as new rules for painting. Decorative painting begins to be closely intertwined with the spiritual content of the picture. Individuals emerge, whose names will forever remain in the history of world artistic culture. Italian masters – Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo and other famous painters – gave rise to a new wave of development of wall painting, which would then spread throughout Northern Europe. The first frescoes appear, which are paintings on raw plaster.

Again, as in ancient times, painting goes beyond religion and appears in secular homes. The original technique of creating frescoes is replaced by painting on dry plaster. A concept such as alfresco painting appears. It is characterized by a combination of decorative interior decoration and full-color painting. By the end of the 18th century the technique of creating “deceptions” with the help of which it is possible to visually increase the space in the room.

Baroque and Rococo

In the heyday of opulence and pompousness of the interior, wall paintings are designed to emphasize the luxury and rich decoration. Welcome good angles, bright colors and the effects of theatricality. “Deceits” remain in demand, despite the fact that rich people could afford luxurious gardens and did not need the additional increase in space. The technique of artistic painting was brought to perfection – the drawings became virtually indistinguishable from the architectural details.

When the Rococo style replaced borocco, the basic principles of wall painting were joined by lightness and delicacy, and more attention was paid to the image of angels and floral motifs. Rococo style differs from its counterpart by more calm, smooth, pastel shades. Here, to a greater extent, there are such colors as white, soft pink, muted blue, pistachio, and, of course, gilding. Gilding frames both paintings and relief stucco.

Modern wall painting

Modernist trends and the contribution of industry to interior decorating led to the appearance of wallpaper and the decline of classical painting. But recently, this interior decorating technique has been attracting attention again because of its possibilities. It allows you to make adjustments to the architecture, to reflect the individuality of the owners of the premises, to enliven the room. No less advantage is that the painting is just as many centuries ago, created by hand.

Contemporary painting on the walls, though based on a huge layer of skills and knowledge of past masters, but also actively incorporates technologies and motifs of the current era. Because of this, it becomes more durable. Plus, it is a good opportunity to bring variety to most of the monotonous modern dwellings.

New Trends and Rules of Painting

The main purpose of modern wall painting is to convey originality and sophistication of the interior. By using paintings in combination with household items, you can create a unique design of virtually any room – from the office of the company to a personal apartment. The desire of designers to experiment and offer new solutions to design problems plays a significant role. As an example it is worth mentioning fluorescent paints, airbrush or technique of decoration with artificial creation of patina (aging effect).

To sum up

Craving to express their own individuality has long been present in the character of any person. In particular, it is expressed by a desire to have something exclusive, special. The easiest way to realize this desire in the era of modernity is to order a unique interior design using wall paintings. In addition to this, the house becomes more comfortable and cozy.

You can apply to our studio for a finished wall painting. Our specialists will take into account your wishes and harmoniously complement the existing interior in your room.