What Is a Mural?
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||biblical, papyrus, underworld, exotic, formula, moldy, wealthy, pharaohs, fresco, pope, waxy, assignment, directly, artists, design, easily
||Wealthy Egyptians, In Egyptian, In India, Pope Julius II, Patient Michelangelo, Old Testament, Sistine Chapel, Poor Michelangelo, One Mexican, Diego Rivera
What Is a Mural?
By Colleen Messina
1 Many, many years ago, when you were little, you may have had a great idea. You grabbed some waxy crayons. You made bold sweeps of blue, yellow, and red...on your bedroom wall! Not everyone liked your colorful picture. Now that you are older and wiser, you will be happy to learn about a special kind of art called a mural.
2 A mural is a picture on a wall. The word "mural" comes from the French word for wall. A mural can be painted right onto the wall's surface. It can also be painted on a panel that is fixed to the wall. A mural that is painted on wet plaster is called a fresco. Murals have been painted for thousands of years. Murals have been painted on cave walls, pyramid walls, and chapel ceilings.
3 If you lived in ancient Egypt, you could have turned your interest in drawing on walls into a career. All tombs had murals. Wealthy Egyptians built fancy tombs. Pharaohs built exotic pyramids. The murals showed happy scenes. Girls playing fancy flutes and plates of juicy food made the dead feel right at home...or so the Egyptians thought.
4 The ancient Egyptian murals also told the stories of gods and goddesses. Osiris was the god of the underworld, so he was in many of the brightly colored murals on the walls of tombs. Families prayed to Osiris and honored him with their art so that he would help their dead relatives.
5 Egyptian murals were made in stages. First, the rock wall was carved. Then, it was painted. The pictures looked flat. Artists used a formula for drawing people. They divided a sheet of papyrus into rows of squares. Then, they drew the person's head in the top three rows. They drew person's shoulders to the knees in the next several. They drew the person's legs in the bottom rows. In Egyptian art, all people all looked the same because of this formula.
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