Human beings seem to have an innate desire to decorate and make their surroundings more beautiful and meaningful, which is perhaps why murals have always played a part in history. The walls of caves such as those at Lascaux were decorated with paintings of animals over 15,000 years ago; Roman citizens plastered and painted frescoes on the walls of their homes in Pompeii; Michelangelo decorated the Sistine Chapel ceiling in the 16th century; the U.S. governmental agency W.P.A. commissioned artists to paint murals all over the country in the 1930s.
A mural often incorporates personal images and themes which are meaningful to the client. This interaction between client and decorative painter is often a unique experience, particularly for an individual or organization not usually involved in the arts.