v Mural Room
|The Mural Room is the jewel of the Courthouse!
The room was originally designed as the assembly room for the County Board
of Supervisors, where they presided for more than 30 years. There are four
main elements of the Mural Room: furniture, tile, ceiling and murals. It is
the 6,700 square feet of hand painted Groesbeck murals that capture
everyone's interest. The intricately painted ceiling is just as capturing
and represents the most detailed hand stenciling in the courthouse. The room
is 40' wide by 70' long with a ceiling height of 25' to 30'. Large, highly
decorated sets of double doors provide the main entrance form the
second-floor lobby at the top of the main staircase. The inside surface of
these doors are covered in rich brown leather and painted with a diamond
pattern overlaid with a large painted ceremonial shield that represents the
unification of Spain under Ferdinand V (of Aragon) and Isabella (of
Each of the wrought-iron chandeliers weighs over 1000 pounds; a very tall ladder must be used for maintenance. The dais (where the Board sat) is hand carved oak and elevated 12" above the main floor of the Mural Room.
The murals depict scenes from California's history from the native Indians to the construction of the Mission. The murals along the window wall depict renderings of leading industries, agriculture, minerals and live stock.
The canvas was glued to the walls, then painted. The final touch was to apply a finish coat or sealant to the paint. The artist did not apply this final step, he had already left the country for work in England.
Ceiling Detail: Smeraldi
The paint technique is referred to as "Dutch- Metal", which means the artist mixed zinc and copper to get that "gold" effect.
This page updated on:
Thursday July 22, 2004
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