Greek Wall Paintings

Wall paintings were some of the most famous art works that were done in Ancient Greece.

These paintings were painted as panels and they were hung on walls.

Ancient Greek Wall Paintings

Wall Paintings

Many of the wall paintings would come in more than one panel and would tell a story.

The paintings would show different scenes and people that were known in the town or that were famous because of mythology or some other purpose.

Some of the paintings were self-portraits and would be painted for wealthy people to put them in their homes.

If a wall painting was done that was meant for the public, it would be hung within a government building or in a place where many people could see it.


The wall paintings were often times painted on wood boards and were painted with wax paints or tempera paints.

Since the materials were not that strong, most of the wall paintings did not survive and many famous works were destroyed or broke.

Ancient Greek Wall Paintings

Wall Paintings that Survived

Some of the wall paintings that did survive was the “Pista panels,” the “Tomb of Diver,” and some paintings that were found in tombs.

Other surviving wall paintings include:

  • Alexander Mosaic
  • Villa Boscoreale
  • Fayum Mummy
  • Severan Tondo

Some paintings are found in Pompeii that are thought to be original or copies of wall paintings from Ancient Greece.

Time Period

Wall paintings from Greece go all the way back to the Minoan and Mycenean Bronze Age.

What Were Wall Paintings Used For?

Ancient Greek wall paintings were used mostly for decorations and some of them were even used to decorate tombs and temples.

Many of the paintings were done to celebrate the death of someone famous or someone that was loved.

Ancient Greek Wall Paintings


Many of the paintings that were done were found on different architecture throughout Ancient Greece.

These paintings were very colorful but much of it would fade due to the weather and to time.

Painting was a big part of architecture because it would make buildings and homes beautiful.

Some artists would paint in the temples so that they could celebrate and honor the gods and goddesses.


Sculptures were also painted and even though they weren’t wall paintings, the same people that did the wall paintings would paint the sculptures.

The sculptures would be painted with bright colors and would help to make the statues look more realistic.

Ancient Greek Wall Paintings


Facts About Ancient Greek Wall Paintings:

  • Sometimes male skin would be painted brown because it was hard to get skin color correct.
  • Vase painting is another form of painting that was popular during Ancient Greek times.
  • Most Greek painting was not found to be important and writers and authors never wrote about it in their stories.
  • Many of the paintings had patterns and bright colors because patterns were important to philosophy.
  • The Ancient Greek painters painted so that they could celebrate gods and goddesses and other people.
  • Some artists were paid good money to paint paintings for the wealthy people and for the temple.


What Did You Learn?

  1. What was a wall painting?  A wall painting in Ancient Greece was a painting or a group of paintings that were used to show a story or as a self-portrait.
  2. Was art important during Ancient Greek times?   Art was important during Ancient Greek times and it went hand in hand with philosophy.
  3. What other types of paintings were done during Ancient Greek times? Other types of paintings that were done were vase paintings, paintings on architecture and sculpture painting.
  4. Were wall paintings artists popular?   Painting wall paintings was not considered that important and was never written about by authors.
  5. What were wall paintings used for in Ancient Greece? Wall paintings were used as decorations for homes and for tombs.  Many paintings were put into temples to celebrate the gods and goddesses.