Sample Paper on Mexican Muralist Movement

Mexican Muralist Movement

A mural is a piece of art painted on a wall or a surface. Smith and Ewing’s definition is that “a mural is an embellishment executed upon a wall” (13). The mural is not only done on a wall; it can be done any other surface, for example a ceiling. A mural takes into account the architecture of the space to create harmony with the portrait.

The 1910 revolution in Mexico was followed by a cultural revolution that was intended to teach the doctrines of the revolution and the history of the people of Mexico through the use of Murals (Baca 2).  Consequently, several murals were painted, following encouragement and support of the leadership.







The abolition of slavery


This mural was painted by José Clemente Orozco. The person represented in it is Miguel Hidalgoy Costilla. He seems to holding what appears to be a pen against a piece of paper with the on which there is a word in red reading ‘LIBERTAD’ which is Spanish for liberty. In front of him is a pair of hands, of a slave, presumably, tied together and the hands look like they are struggling to get rid of the rope. The mural actual represents the abolition of slavery by Miguel. The expression on Miguel’s face seems to project mixed feelings. The Mural represents liberation.


Music at a Government Palace

This is a mural by Alfredo Zalce. The mural depicts people playing instruments and others singing at a government palace. There are men in the   back dressed in white suits playing instruments that are common played in jazz: a double bass, a guitar and a violin. At the front there are young girls who appear to be singing since their heads look raised and their mouths open. There is also a plantation of what appears to be maize. The painter has successfully hidden the skin color of the characters depicted using lighting. It seems to consist of all skin color. Among the male musicians are some women with their heads covered like those of Islamic faith. They seem to be just standing there watching. The houses in the photo look basic despite the fact that is the music is being performed at a government palace. The faces of the girls do not seem to show either excitement or passion. As for the men, their faces cannot be read. The mural seems to portray that entertainment is expected by the elite and the other are expected to comply. The picture also project the musical skills of the Mexican culture.

At Río Juchitán (River Juchitan)

This mural was painted by Diego Rivera. The mural depicts a scene in river Juchitan. The mural appears to show people taking bath in the river. There are women, children or young people and a man. There is one child swimming, another is being washed, another seems to be standing alone in the water while another is being pulled by a man. The man appears to be pointing at the river while the child seems to be resisting. The women’s breasts are bear despite the presence of the man and the children, who do not appear to be attentive to them. The people in the mural appear to be colored dark brown. The bathing is taking place in an open place where everybody can see everybody else. The mural seems to imply that there was social isolation, children’s dislike for water and insensitivity to nudity at the by the culture that was depicted in the mural.











Works Cited

Baca, J. “Birth of a movement.” Community, culture and globalization (2002): 107-125.


Smith, Watson, and Louie Ewing. Kiva Mural Decorations at Awatovi and Kawaika-a: With a

 Survey of Other Wall Paintings in the Pueblo Southwest. Cambridge, Mass: Peabody

Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 2005. Print.