Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Mural Decoration
MURAL DECORATION, the embellishment of walls. It dates from very ancient times. The Egyptian and Etruscan monuments form an integral and important part of the history of painting, and have helped to mold the development of certain styles of art. Incised work and reliefs have been largely employed. The Greeks tinted their temples and “picked out” their sculptured friezes and pediments with color; colored bricks were used in Assyrian, and wall tiles in Moslem, architecture. Some of the Roman walls were built of tufa and red brick, colored brick, terra-cotta, and variegated arrangements of marble were largely used in Italy. The plaster work known as sgraffito is especially adapted for this use. Many English churches of the mediæval period have been built of flint and stone, and much Tudor work of parti-colored brick. Distemper and fresco are described in separate articles; water glass is a silicate process of which there is an example in the English Houses of Parliament. Mosaic work is extensively used in floors and ceilings, but also occasionally employed in mural decoration.