mural - A
large design or picture,
most commonly created on the wall of a public building, sometimes
using the fresco
technique. Among the
important mural painters of the twentieth century are the three
Mexican painters José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949), Diego
Rivera (1886-l957), and David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974).
Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (German-American, 1816-1869), Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, 1861, oil on canvas, 33 1/4 x 43 3/8 inches, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. This easel-painting is a study for a mural in the United States Capitol. The painting's title, taken from a poem written in 1726 by Irish poet George Berkeley, became a motto for America's quest for Manifest Destiny -- the 19th century drive to grow the nation over vast frontiers. Here a group of pioneers have just passed Native Americans to achieve the summit of a climactic, mountainous barrier. Leutze placed a panoramic view of their ultimate goal, San Francisco Bay, at the bottom of the composition, flanked by medallion portraits of William Lewis and Daniel Boone. See history painting.
José Clemente Orozco (Mexican, 1883-1949), The Epic of American Civilization, between 1932 and 1934, mural painting, reserve corridor of Baker Library. In its entirety, the mural covers approximately 3,200 square feet. Its subject is the Americas from the migration of the Aztecs into central Mexico to the development of our modern industrialized society. See Mexican art.
Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886-1957), Revolt and The New Religion, 1929-1930, 13 feet 11 inches x 4 feet 5 inches and 14 feet 3 inches x 4 feet 3 inches, fresco, Cortes Palace, Cuernavaca, Mexico. See Mexican art.
Judith Francisca Baca (American, 1946-), Olympic Champions, 1948-1964, Breaking Barriers, (last section of The Great Wall of Los Angeles), 1983 (whole mural 1976-1983), 13 feet x 25 feet (whole mural 13 feet x 2,235 feet), acrylic paints over gesso on concrete wall, Tujunga Wash, San Fernando Valley, CA.
Paul Botello (American, contemporary Chicano), Inner Resources [detail], 2000, acrylic paints over primer on concrete block wall, entire: 36 x 82 feet, City Terrace Park, Los Angeles, CA.
Also see American Scene painting, architecture, environment art, quadro riportato, and social realism.