These are of course, in most cases, modern African-themed artworks.
But you also know the fact that the most ancient origins of mankind are in Africa.
And this is an irrefutable fact.
However, Africa also played a decisive role in the development of fine arts.
And African art managed to shape the world’s culture with its particular styles.
But how did these influences express themselves in contemporary art?
African mural art is the oldest form of creative expression
In the history of African art, murals are the oldest form of creative expression.
Or rather rock paintings in ancient African dwelling places.
These are paintings or engravings made on rock walls, in most cases, illustrate stylized hunting scenes.
The most ancient and scientifically dated specimens of African mural painting date from about 24-27,000 years ago.
In terms of sculpture, the most archaic manifestations of this artistic expression date from around 500 BC.
Starting from the 9th century AD, the mentioned tradition was enriched by the manufacture of more realistic sculptures.
And more so in bronze and brass, depicting, in addition to heads, also masks, and small whole figures.
It is important to emphasize that the above dates are subject to change in the future.
Because African mural painting, and art in general, which is predominantly functional and ritual, was not initially recognized as a symbol of the community’s aesthetic achievements.
And is therefore not properly researched, protected, and valued.
Characteristics of African mural painting
As a matter of course, African mural painting, as depicted here, is mainly a set of artistic manifestations produced by the peoples of black Africa throughout history.
African mural painting is a term generally applied to the art of sub-Saharan Africa.
Often casual observers tend to generalize from “traditional” African art.
But the continent is full of people, communities, and civilizations, each with its own unique visual culture.
Unifying artistic themes in African murals
Despite this diversity, there are some unifying artistic themes when considering the totality of the visual culture of the African continent.
Applying the African style to the interior is quite easy.
With the help of modern technology, you can take any such artwork and place it on the wall.
A mural is any graphic artwork painted applied directly to a wall, ceiling, or graphic artwork that is painted or applied directly to a wall, ceiling, or another permanent substrate.
And therefore, if you take any African painting and place it on the wall, then it becomes an African mural painting.
And we also have scores of such artworks that you can choose from.
If you see any such artwork on this page, go ahead and pick it up.
And you will then have it as your African mural painting within 24 working hours.
A wide variety of designs
The African continent is home to a wide variety of cultures.
And each culture is characterized by its language, traditions, and characteristic art forms.
In many indigenous tribes of Africa, the roots of the autochthonous artistic tradition have allowed the maintenance of various aesthetic manifestations until relatively recent times.
It is precisely from the beginning of the 20th century that this art begins to be appreciated in the West.
First by representatives of the avant-garde and later by museums and the general public.
There are great stylistic differences from one area to another, from schematic figures and masks to very naturalistic pieces.
Although almost all of them have symmetry in common, giving more importance to the head and torso and much less to the legs.
The legs are usually represented as short and with less detail than the rest of the body parts.
The term ”Africa mural” does not usually include the mural art of the areas of North Africa along the Mediterranean coast.
Because these areas have long been part of different traditions.
For more than a thousand years, art in these areas has been an integral part of Islamic art, albeit with many special characteristics.
Ethiopian art (murals), with a long Christian tradition, also differs from most African countries, where traditional African religions (Islam is prevalent in the north) dominated until relatively recently.
Ndebele Mural Art
The Ndebele people are one of the few nations that preserve their traditions, of our concern Ndebele African Mural Painting.
The ethnic group “Ndebele” is located in South Africa.
And the tribe has a very different custom of stamping their houses with many vibrant colors and shapes.
Like the Masaai of East Africa, the Ndebele is one of the few ethnic African nations that preserve its traditions.
Despite being a patriarchal society, the well-known artistic heritage of the Ndebele was passed from mother to daughter over the centuries.
And only women dedicate themselves to graphics and handicrafts.
A well-painted house indicates that the woman of the house is a good wife and mother.
She is responsible for painting the doors, front walls, side walls, and generally, the interior of her home.
One of the best places to see this art form is Mapoch, about 40 km west of Pretoria.
And another Ndebele village worth a visit is Mpumalanga, situated in eastern South Africa, north of KwaZulu-Natal and on the border with Swaziland and Mozambique.
Uncategorized African wall art
Just imagine how diverse African mural painting can be to give you an idea of how diverse the African community is.
One rich and oldest-known art form in Africa is rock art.
The Namibian rock art, African mural painting, is around 27,000 years old. And is it the oldest known art form in the world?
The first African natives created these bewitching drawings on the rocks.
One of the earliest paintings among many depicts a beautiful ordinary day in the life of an ancient African and animals.
Over the years, cave paintings have become more modern mixtures of abstract art forms.
The Dragon Mountains in South Africa are a rich example of rock art.
It was here that about 30,000 rock paintings were discovered.
And each with its own culture and art.
The main aspect to take into account when discussing African art is the enormous number of existing cultures.
An example is the fact that the number of languages spoken on the continent is estimated to be between 1,000 and 2,000 (“Introduction to African Languages”, Harvard University), with 250 of them spoken in the territory of present-day Nigeria.
However, all African peoples share a series of dominant cultural traits that distinguish. African Culture from the rest of the world.
For example, social values, religion, morals, political values, economics, and aesthetic values all contribute to African Culture.
But in general, we are talking about cultural communities of rather a small size.
And each with a great sense of community life, which attaches great importance to the clan, and great respect for the ancestors.
Within these cultural units, art serves as a reinforcement and celebration of the community.
African Mural Painting is the oldest form of art
African mural painting is dynamic and progressive.
What is a mural?
The Britannica defines it as a ”mural, a painting applied to and made integral to the surface of a wall or ceiling. The term may properly include painting on fired tiles but ordinarily does not refer to mosaic decoration unless the mosaic forms part of the overall scheme of the painting.”
Going by the above definition, African mural painting is the oldest form of art in the world.
Because rock painting is rich in an ancient form of African murals. Namibian rock painting dates back 27000 years and is the oldest form of art in the world.
The first Africans created these beautiful pictures on the rock faces.
One of the earliest pictures shows a typical day in the life of an ancient African man and represents animals.
Over the years, rock painting became a more modern-day combination of abstract art forms.
The Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa are a good example of rock painting.
It is here that the discovery of nearly 30,000 rock paintings was made.
The scale of African mural painting
Until recently, the designation “African mural painting” usually referred only to the art of “Black Africa”. People living in sub-Saharan Africa.
The non-black peoples of North Africa, the population of the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia), as well as the art of Ancient Egypt, as a rule, were not included in the concept of African art.
However, there has recently been a push among African art historians and other scholars to include the visual culture of these areas.
Because they are all essentially within the geographic boundaries of the African continent.
The point is that by including all African peoples and their visual culture in African art, non-professionals will gain a deeper understanding of the cultural diversity of the continent.
Merger of African art with foreign influence
Traditional African, Islamic, and Mediterranean cultures often merged. And therefore scholars have found that it makes little sense to draw a clear distinction between Muslim regions, ancient Egypt, the Mediterranean, and indigenous black African societies.
The combination of African art with foreign influences hides the lack of intrinsic artistic merit.
Especially in the period before the advent of civilization on the continent, brought by cultures with a long history of development.
Modern Ethnic African Mural Art
In contemporary African mural painting, various murals adorn the outer and inner walls of dwellings.
And you will find a mural in cafes, cinemas, etc., as various kinds of signs, banners, and billboards.
You will also find symbolic images and artistically designed inscriptions on cars.
As well as popular mural paintings on the glass; various drawings, primitive plots accompanied by short texts, and paintings of various content.
The African mural painting style is distinguished by powerful expression.
That is energy, which is embodied both in the forms themselves and in the symbols that accompany them.
Another indispensable attribute of African murals is the presence in the works of African masters of a sacred connection with the world of spirits and Gods.
Surprisingly, the colors that prevail in the paintings of African artists very accurately reflect the colors of the landscapes of the African continent.
Colors in African wall Murals
Bright, green – like the jungle, yellow – like deserts and savannahs, red – like a hot sun.
In addition, the characteristic color for African wall murals is various shades of brown, ranging from fawn to almost red.
Whether such a combination of colors comes from rock paintings or is a later invention of local masters is unknown.
Numerous books and scientific articles have been written on this topic.
Africa, especially South Africa, for a long time, remained untouched and inaccessible to Europeans.
Local tribes lived in their world, not communicating with the rest, so their art is so different from what the West is used to.
It developed in the most unpredictable ways and as a result, became so isolated and peculiar that the first viewers could not even understand that it was very beautifully and professionally done.
What is African wall mural painting?
Canonical forms, traditional motifs, life and way of life, cares and worries, beliefs, fears and aspirations of the inhabitants of the continent, where there is no cold and snow, are displayed in their drawings and paintings.
And are incomprehensible to people who brought up the fetus under the influence of completely different ideas and values.
If our distant ancestors could fully understand and be imbued with such paintings, then it has become more and more difficult for modern people to do this.
What is African wall mural painting?
If you try to talk about it in a few words, then this is a one-color background, with several shades; the main motive of the work occupies almost the entire space; no perspective; the presence of an ornament and some signs; the painting itself is made in broad and sweeping strokes or lines; grotesque forms; dynamics. Only from the outside, it seems primitive.
Many avant-garde artists of the past and our time find a special genius in this.
Such forms of modern painting as cubism, primitivism, and some others were created only thanks to African art.