Friday, 15 March 2013

The painted walls of Morocco

Every year, in Asilah, a seaside town an hour south of Tangier, a mural painting festival and competition takes place in the old city, the medina. Artists from everywhere in Morocco congregate there to paint a wall graciously offered by local residents.

A striking mixture of "Bleu Klein", the deep almost indigo blue created by French artist Yves Klein, and brown calligraphy on a white wall.

A superb example of modern Moroccan calligraphy in marine colours, a reminder of the waves beyond the wall of the medina.

 A geometric, simple but unusual mix of colours.

A rather worn fruit and vegetable display from the previous year.

A friend wearing blue, holding hands with a painted blue lady in Asilah. Different cultures, universal smile and similar wind-blown elegance.

Two painted veiled women by a virtual sea. Even the outdoor lamp is hanging from a sketched branch.

Splendid Moroccan graffiti art.

Wall painting is not reserved for artists. Many houses are adorned for more utilitarian reasons.
Walls are painted with a thick mixture of lye in water and natural pigments. Additional coats of paint are added every year after the rainy season. The lye keeps insects away and the thick paint serves as a sort of insulation. In the city of Chefchaouen, the blue city, the houses, doors and even some alleys are painted in a shade of blue.

Even flower pots are the targets of budding artists

A 1930 mural in the El Minzah Hotel restaurant in Tangier, depicting music and tea drinking, two traditional pastimes in Morocco.

Similar sea inspired colours in Asilah

There is a long tradition of painted walls, doors and furniture in Morocco and people don't hesitate to embellish their houses in their very personal style. It is this confident often haphazard choice of colours that gives Moroccan painted walls their charm and beauty.

Photos: Sylvie Pellet, Joelle Desparmet


  1. I really liked your blog. Whenever I can pass it here to prestige. It will be an honor for us to have him on our blog as a follower.



  2. Great pictures. About the picture of calligraphy (sorry for my poor english), the artist is syrian. Khalid Saai

    1. Thank you for that information. The calligraphy was fantastic.

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