A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other permanent surfaces. A distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.
Some wall paintings are painted on large canvases, which are then attached to the wall but the technique has been in common use since the late 19th century.
During the Middle Ages, murals were usually executed on dry plaster. The huge collection of Kerala mural painting dating from the 14th century are examples of fresco secco. In Italy, circa 1300, the technique of painting of frescos on wet plaster was reintroduced and led to a significant increase in the quality of mural painting.
In modern times, the term became more well known with the Mexican muralism art movement (Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros and José Orozco). There are many different styles and techniques. The best-known is probably fresco, which uses water-soluble paints with a damp lime wash, rapid use of the resulting mixture over a large surface, and often in parts . The colors lighten as they dry. The marouflage method has also been used for millennia.
Murals today are painted in a variety of ways, using oil or water-based media. The styles can vary . Initiated by the works of mural artists like Graham Rust or Rainer Maria Latzke in the 1980s, trompe-l'oeil painting has experienced a renaissance in private and public buildings in Europe. Today, the beauty of a wall mural has become much more widely available with a technique whereby a painting or photographic image is transferred to poster paper or canvas which is then pasted to a wall surface to give the effect of either a hand-painted mural or realistic scene.